Today, Congress introduced the Civics Secures Democracy Act (which was introduced last session as the Educating for Democracy Act). A game-changing proposal that would invest $1 billion in democracy education, it is brought forth in the House by Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT 3) and Tom Cole (R-OK 4), and in the Senate by Sens. Chris Coons (D-DE) and John Cornyn (R-TX). This bill represents a unique opportunity for the entire field of civics education, including Generation Citizen, to throw its full weight behind an equity-focused piece of legislation. We believe that robust, sustained advocacy for a bipartisan civics bill of this magnitude makes a long overdue downpayment on a secure future for our multiracial democracy.
We have traditionally focused on influencing state-level civics education policy through advocacy and collaboration with local coalitions and stakeholders. We will continue this emphasis, as states and localities often hold primary decision-making power for education policy. At the same time, the federal government can supercharge local education systems by prioritizing public funding, agency level staff capacity, and technical assistance in support of civics education.
The Civics Secures Democracy Act possesses this kind of potential, and could incentivize the teaching of comprehensive democracy education, including Action Civics.
As this bill moves forward, we’re calling on all of GC’s regions, boards, and stakeholders – educators, students, and coalition partners – to support this bill. Among its many important provisions, we are especially excited about its inclusion of policies supporting increased funding for teacher professional development and diversifying the educator workforce, and its recognition of the unique value that historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs), and Tribal Institutions of higher education can play in teacher preparation.
Civics education shouldn’t be an optional part of a good education, or one available only at well-resourced schools. 2021 must be the year we commit to every student receiving equitable, active civics education. We urge our nation’s leaders to support the Civics Secures Democracy Act and invest in our youth and in our democracy.
Here are specific ways that you can use your voice right now to support the Civics Secures Democracy Act:
Post on social media, explaining why you support the bill. Here are sample posts you can use.
Stay tuned for more details on a Twitter Town Hall in support of the Civics Secures Democracy Act.
In Service, Liz Clay Roy & Andrew Wilkes