Breaking News: New Funding for Civics

Dear CivXNow Coalition Members and Friends of Civic Learning,

We’re delighted to share breaking news with you that the year-end omnibus appropriations bill just passed by Congress includes a significant increase in funding for K–12 civic education, from the current $7.75M to $23M. This represents a substantial down payment on the historic civic mission of our K–12 schools, moving us closer to ensuring equitable access to high-quality civic learning opportunities for all students.

In addition to maintaining the $3M appropriation for American History and Civics Academies, Congress appropriated $20M for a competitive grant program, “Civics National Activities.” This is more than a four-fold increase from FY22’s appropriation of $4.75M. Eligible recipients for this program include institutions of higher education and nonprofits that use evidence-based practices “…to improv[e] teaching and learning about the history and principles of the Constitution of the United States.”

Evidence-based practices include classroom instruction in civics, government, and history; community service tied to classroom instruction; simulations of democratic processes; student voice in school governance; and media literacy.

We are forever grateful for the relentless leadership of our congressional champions, Representatives Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Tom Cole (R-OK), and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Senators Chris Coons (D-DE) and John Cornyn (R-TX). We’re also appreciative of the bipartisan support of 18 additional House cosponsors and 4 Senate cosponsors.

This impressive bipartisan group sought compromise and bravely weathered mis- and disinformation directed at the broader Civics Secures Democracy (CSD) Act. Their resolve and collegiality exemplifies the civic dispositions we seek to develop among K–12 students.

The CivXNow Coalition, made up of 265+ organizational members, led the charge for this deepened federal investment in K–12 civic education. We salute teachers, students, parents, and nonprofit partners across states and congressional districts that helped make the case for the federal Civics Secures Democracy Act throughout the 117th Congress. Since CSD was first introduced in March 2021, hundreds of constituent meetings and contacts were conducted, building strong bipartisan support for a generational investment in K–12 civic education.

Our constitutional democracy has been tested in myriad manners over the past several years, and its continued strength and sustenance is dependent on an informed citizenry. K–12 schools are vital venues for students’ civic development, and Congress just made an important investment in the future of our nation.

As we celebrate the holiday season, we are grateful for the gift of greater federal support for K–12 civic education, and resolve to build upon this success in the new year and next Congress.

Yours in civics,

Shawn Healy
Senior Director of Policy and Advocacy, iCivics

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