Malagari crafts legislation with local students to reduce the cost of AP exams.

LANSDALE, Dec. 13 – State Rep. Steve Malagari, D-Montgomery, announced his legislation to make Advanced Placement Exams more accessible and affordable on behalf of high school students in his district has advanced through the Education Committee.

“After speaking at a leadership class at North Penn High School last year, some members of their Student Government Association reached out to me with this idea,” Malagari said. “Our best and brightest minds shouldn’t be impeded by fees or by where they go to school. I’m happy to help our students help themselves.”

Tarun Iyengar and Lauren Yoo, seniors at North Penn High School, joined by 2023 graduates Ahnaf Tausif and Alyssa Charow, voiced their backing for the legislation.

“This bill is going to allow students to better prepare for their future, learn new things in both STEM and the humanities, and apply themselves in a way that goes beyond the traditional classroom experience they have had up until this point. We want to take these exams to be an opportunity that every student can take advantage of because of their vast impact. What originally started out as an idea for a high school in Lansdale, PA turned into the question, ‘Why do it for the school when you can do it for the state?’” the students said. 

Malagari had the students look at other states that offer reduced or free AP exams, come up with a proposal for Pennsylvania, and help craft the language for the legislation.

This bill would make AP and similar exams more accessible to students struggling to pay exam fees and make these courses more available to school districts. The Access to Advanced Courses for ALL Students Grant Program would allocate funding for school districts to train educators for Math, English Language Arts, Science, Social Studies, and Computer Science AP classes. Additionally, the Exam Fee Grant, funded through the Pennsylvania Department of Education would reimburse school districts for every student that takes an AP exam.

Pennsylvania is trailing behind 31 states across the nation that already help students with the cost of AP exams. AP courses and exams help students develop the critical thinking skills they need to enter the workforce as entrepreneurs, small business owners, and professionals in Pennsylvania.

“By funding AP exams and training educators to teach those AP level courses, we will allow students to pursue more rigorous coursework that will develop and harness their scholastic talents,” Malagari said. “Making AP exams more affordable for students will develop a college-ready, apprenticeship-ready, and workforce-ready body of students who can compete at the state and global level.”