Bill would help low-income students with cost of Advanced Placement tests

Published: Friday, Feb. 14 2014 5:30 p.m. MST

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SALT LAKE CITY — Low-income students would receive help with the cost of Advanced Placement exams under the terms of a bill that is well on its way at the 2014 Legislature.

SB140, sponsored by Sen. Karen Mayne, D-West Valley, passed the Senate with a near-unanimous vote Wednesday and on Friday was given a favorable recommendation by the House Education Committee.

The bill, which sets aside $100,000 to help students pay for the cost of their AP exams, will now go before the House prior to final passage.

"We’ve had initiatives over and over again to lift people out of poverty," Mayne said. "This is something we can do to help them. This is a little push, because they’re motivated students anyway."

Mayne said that roughly 14 percent of all AP exams taken in Utah last year were taken by students from low-income households. Those students receive a partial waiver from The College Board, which administers AP exams, but the remaining costs can be a challenge for families and potentially dissuade students from taking assessments in multiple courses.

"We all know you can take these classes, but, if you don’t take the test, it doesn’t give you (college) credit," she said.

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