Welter bill to include speech as option for high school students passes House of Representatives

Bipartisan legislation to give high school students the option to complete one year of speech in order to fulfill a prerequisite for graduation received unanimous approval by the Illinois House of Representatives on Thursday.

House Bill 2258 was introduced and sponsored by State Representative David Allen Welter, R-Morris.

“Speech should be an option for students on par with music, art, foreign language and vocational education,” Representative Welter said. “Speech offers students the ability to develop critical written and verbal communication skills that play an important role throughout life. Speech students learn to research and prepare effectively, gaining knowledge on a wide variety of issues in the process. Many of these students will become our future leaders in business, education and civic affairs. We should nurture and support their growth in high school by including speech as a prerequisite option.”

Current law requires that a student must complete one year chosen from (A) music, (B) art, (C) foreign language, which includes American Sign Language, or (D) vocational education. Welter’s bill adds speech as an option for students to meet the prerequisite for receiving a high school diploma.

House Bill 2258 now advances to the State Senate for consideration.

Representative Welter serves the 75th District, which includes portions of Kendall, Grundy, LaSalle and Will Counties.