By Sarah Roy
On the first day of attendance at the Youth and Government 72nd State Conference, students from various districts competing in legislative were given the opportunity to present their bills. While being advised by Kayley Niette as chair and William Ashcraft as Clerk, students in this category addressed many educational concerns through their bills in the education hearing committee in hopes to get them passed to House.
Many of the bills presented had recurring elements as students shared concerns over similar topics. A notable concern shared among the participants was the implementation of courses that would benefit a student’s educational career, these varying from courses providing students with educational college assistance to courses providing students of younger ages with a foundation in business and technology education.
Escarleth Soto, a student from Skyline High School, proposed the bill to provide Texas high school students with elective credit college educational courses. Through this course students would have the resources to look into college applications, scholarships, financial aid, and also work on essays required for applications and scholarships. There would be social science teachers trained to meet the qualifications to advise the course and ultimately provide the best assistance for high school students.
While this bill was regarded as well structured by the committee, it was also questioned.
“All of this information could still be found online, why take the time to create guidelines for something that could seemingly be done in one’s personal time?” a delegate said.
Soto brought up the point that some students have difficulties finding the time to complete these tasks. She expressed how, “some students, especially AP students, do not have the time during the day”. As an AP and dual credit student herself, this was a main concern dealt with in her bill. Through her bill, Soto found it to be a task of significance that students be provided with all the opportunities available for them to achieve as they move forward with their future.
Not only was there consideration a student’s future reflected in the bills presented, but the foundation in which a student is brought up in as well. In student Paarth Dewan’s bill he proposed that technology or business based classes be implemented in public schools from fifth to eighth grade.
“Many children today are not learning enough about business and technology,” Dewan said.
Through his bill he wanted to use funds from the Texas Department of Education to hire qualified teachers to administer the course and get this knowledge of business and technology rooted sooner, rather than simply having these courses offered at a high school level.
“If you start from a younger age you can build a better foundation,” Dewan said.
This common drive to provide more educational opportunities for youth among students involved legislative conveyed how significant this cause is to many of them. The participants’ use of their bills addressed different ways to make the educational system more flexible and helpful for students.