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‘Educating for Democracy Act’ of 2020

16 Sep 2020 8:19 AM | TCSS President (Administrator)

We are delighted to let you know that on September 17th, Constitution Day, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Congressman Tom Cole (R-OK) will introduce the bipartisan ‘Educating for Democracy Act’ of 2020, a measure to significantly increase federal level investment in civic and history Education. Congresswoman DeLauro is the Chair of the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies. Congressman Cole is the Ranking Member of that Subcommittee.

This comprehensive, bipartisan legislation would authorize $1 billion in federal investment in civic and history education, including research, innovation and teacher professional development, and would require the National Assessments of Educational Progress (NAEPs) in civic and history education to be conducted every two years at grades 4, 8 and 12, with state level results made publicly available. The full bill summary is available here

What is the Educating for Democracy Act of 2020?

This legislation would allocate $1 billion for civic and history education. The measure establishes new grant programs for state and local education agencies to strengthen and improve their approach to civic and history education. The bill provides funding for non-profit entities to develop or expand access to evidence-based curricula, instructional models, and other educational programs to enhance student knowledge and achievement in civics and history. Grants would be provided to higher education institutions to assist in developing and implementing programs to train elementary and secondary school teachers in methods for instructing and engaging students in civics and history. 

Click here to read the full bill summary

Why is the Educating for Democracy Act of 2020 important to endorse today? 

It’s no coincidence that this bill is being introduced on Constitution Day, and we see no better way to celebrate the importance of comprehensive history and civic education than to use the holiday to show that civic education is and should be a national priority. It is vital for us to show support from our community for this significant legislation. This Constitution Day, let's join together to seize on the momentum of our movement and use our collective voice as a field to unify behind the message that states, districts, educators, non-profits, and others deserve to receive the support they need to educate, empower, and equip all K-12 students with the knowledge and skills needed to be informed and engaged civic participants. 

Representatives DeLauro and Cole are introducing this bill on Constitution Day to build support for history and civic education and secure additional congressional co-sponsors. We anticipated that they will move forward to reintroduce this legislation in the new congress in January, but it is important to persuade elected officials to co-sponsor the bill now to show their constituents and the nation where they stand when it comes to ensuring quality, comprehensive civic education for all. 

If you are interested in supporting the legislation--

On Constitution Day contact your Congressperson in the U.S. House of Representatives, and ask that they sign-on to the bill as a co-sponsor. You can use our template script to assist in your outreach.

To reach your U.S. Representative:

·    Call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121, ask for your House member, once connected to their office, ask to speak to whomever handles education issues for the Congressperson (you may have to leave a voicemail). Ask that staffer to ask the Member to co-sponsor the ‘Educating for Democracy Act,’ introduced by Representatives DeLauro and Cole, that would dramatically improve civic and history. Offer to send the staff member the summary of the bill.

·    Email or write to your U.S. Representative by visiting www.house.gov, and entering your zip code in the box in the upper right hand corner. From there, you can go to the member’s website, where you will find their mailing address, phone number, and a feature for constituents to make requests or send comments to the House member. Please send all communications to their Washington, DC office, not their district offices.

Please note: We are not contacting U.S. Senators about the legislation at this time.

What if I still have questions?

If you have questions or concerns, please contact Ted McConnell, CivXNow Sr. Policy Advisor at civicsted@gmail.com.


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