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Now That 'Ink's Dry' on HB 5, Future of Texas Education Bill Secured

Veronica Zaragovia for KUT News

Speculation over a major overhaul of public education in Texas ended today when Gov. Rick Perry signed House Bill 5. 

The measure drops required standardized exams, known as the STAAR tests, from 15 to 5.

Even the bill’s author, State Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock, R-Killen, was unsure whether Gov. Perry would sign it.

"Until the ink’s dry there’s always concern," Rep. Aycock said. "We received no assurance until we were in this room that it would be signed."

Now that he’s signed it – to loud cheers and clapping -- high school students will have more of what lawmakers call “flexibility.”

"We’ve given students the flexibility they need to pursue whatever dreams may be while maintaining those high standards is a testament to the work we’ve put into this bill," the Governor said.

Right now, Texas public high school students take four credits each of English, math, science and social studies. But this measure will allow them to take a foundation of four English credits and three of the rest. Or they will take the fourth credit of math and science for certain tracks like business and industry, science and technology and humanities.

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