SALT LAKE CITY — A day after lawmakers voted to remove the merits of International Baccalaureate classes from consideration in standards for two key state scholarship programs, they changed their minds and put them back.
The Senate voted on Friday to pass an amended version of SB 100, sponsored by Sen. Jerry Stevenson, R-Layton, after debate on the issue carried over for a third day. Stevenson estimates the issue consumed more than 20 percent of the floor debate in the Senate this week.
An amendment approved Thursday to remove IB classes as weighted criteria for assessing a student’s worthiness for a Regents or New Century scholarship was overturned and then the package was finalized by a 21-6 vote.
IB classes are considered more difficult than regular subject classes and were included with advanced placement and concurrent enrollment classes for consideration in weighing the criteria for scholarship recipients. But some had linked the IB to a new social order.
Stevenson likened IB classes to advanced placement classes and said students who choose to take more difficult classes should not be treated unfairly.
Some of the legislation deals with students who have already been awarded the scholarship. The bill requires scholarship recipients to carry an active class load of at least 15 hours per semester and maintain a GPA of at least 3.33 in their second year in order to keep their Regents or New Century scholarship.
Stevenson said he ran the bill at the behest of the Board of Regents.