By Robert Kittle
(COLUMBIA, SC) – The South Carolina House and Senate have passed a bill that originally would have required students to pass the U.S. Naturalization test in order to graduate. That test is what people from other countries must pass in order to become U.S. citizens. Lawmakers took that part of the bill out, though. The “South Carolina Founding Principles Act” requires students to complete a course that covers the U.S. Constitution, form of government, and founding principles.
Rep. Chip Huggins, R-Lexington Co., is the main sponsor of the bill. He says students already are taught those things but this bill would ensure they would continue to be when state curriculum standards change. “If you’re going to vote on your U.S. governance, you need to at least be aware of the U.S. laws and the U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, and certainly the different things in the Federalist Papers,” he says.
Students would have taken the Naturalization test at the end of the course and would have had to pass to graduate, in the original version of the bill.
High school sophomore Everett Aguirre says, “I think it wouldn’t actually be that hard for most people, if they paid attention in U.S. History or anything, but at the same time it could pose a few problems for others and, I don’t know, graduation rates could drop.”
After it’s ratified, the bill goes to Gov. Nikki Haley’s desk.