House Bill 480 — Biliteracy diploma

Lindsay Atkinson 2020 House bill ratings Leave a Comment

Bill description: HB 480 would create a biliteracy diploma option for Idaho high school graduates.

Rating: -1

Does it transfer a function of the private sector to the government? Examples include government ownership or control of any providers of goods or services such as the Land Board’s purchase of a self-storage facility, mandatory emissions testing, or pre-kindergarten. Conversely, does it eliminate a function of government or return a function of government to the private sector? 

HB 480 would expand the power of the Idaho State Board of Education to make requirements and create rules for a biliteracy diploma. This bill would allow students from public schools (district or charter) to receive a seal on their high school diploma indicating that they are competent in more than one language.

However, this bill unnecessarily transfers a function already offered in the private sector to the public sector — verifying language skills. There are many private programs, not funded by taxpayers, that test and certify biliteracy. In fact, these private methods are the same ones listed in this statute as ways to prove to the Idaho State Board of Education that students are competent in a language. These private programs include Advanced Placement language exams, International Baccalaureate language exams, and the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages.