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Will Gov. Perry Veto House Bill 5?

Nathan Bernier, KUT News

The future of high school graduation standards in Texas remains up in the air as Governor Perry considers whether to sign or veto House Bill 5. The legislation reduces the emphasis on standardized testing by lowering the number of end-of-course exams needed to graduate from 15 to 5. It also provides an alternative pathway to graduation that focuses on vocational education instead of college readiness.

A coalition of six education groups, which includes the Texas Association of School Boards and the Texas Association of School Administrators, is urging the governor to approve the bill. In a letter to Perry, the group points out that HB 5 was passed unanimously in the House and Senate, and says the bill "provides a meaningful level of relevant rigor, flexibility and choice, as well as a balanced approached to student testing while allowing for a deeper level of learning."

On the other side of the debate, the Texas Association of Businessand the Austin Chamber of Commerce are among the groups pleading with Perry to veto the bill. 

“House Bill 5 does introduce some flexibility into course-taking and it does lower the number of tests. Those are both good things," says Drew Scheberle with the Austin Chamber. "But it also is an overreaction and it lowers graduation requirements and it lowers what we expect students to know to be able to graduate from high school.” 

Governor Perry’s office says he is still reviewing the legislation and hasn’t decided one way or the other. Perry’s deadline to veto the bill is Friday, June 14 Sunday, June 16.

Nathan Bernier is the transportation reporter at KUT. He covers the big projects that are reshaping how we get around Austin, like the I-35 overhaul, the airport's rapid growth and the multibillion dollar transit expansion Project Connect. He also focuses on the daily changes that affect how we walk, bike and drive around the city. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @KUTnathan.
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