The proposed $73 million line item for civics and history education comes after Congress authorized a significant increase for the 2023 budget in the year-end bipartisan omnibus bill.
CAMBRIDGE, MASS. [March 9, 2023] – President Joe Biden today proposed a $73 million allocation for civics and U.S. history as part of his 2024 fiscal budget. This would represent a $50 million year increase for the subjects over the 2023 enacted level.
The announcement, which comes in the midst of the first-ever national Civic Learning Week, is an important signal from the White House that the country must invest in civic education to sustain and strengthen constitutional democracy in the United States. It also comes after Congress—in a bipartisan move—included an increase of to $23 million for civics and history in its year-end 2023 omnibus spending package, a massive increase from the $7.75 million for civics and history education in 2022.
The proposal states that the $73 million will be used to “help students understand the U.S. Constitution and how the United States system of Government works and build the skills required to fully participate in civic life.”
The inclusion of this funding in the proposed budget comes after a massive bipartisan effort to pass the standalone Civics Secures Democracy Act, first introduced by 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).
“This is an incredibly important moment not just for civic education, but for our nation,” said Louise Dubé, executive director of iCivics, which founded the CivXNow Coalition. “We are encouraged by the investment demonstrated in the President’s proposed budget in civic education as a means to sustain and strengthen our constitutional democracy. Building on Congress’ significant down payment, this could not come at a more critical time, as we as Americans look for solutions to move our country forward together.”
The CivXNow Coalition, which includes 285 member organizations from across the country and viewpoint spectrum, has led the charge for deepened investment in civic education, including the Civics Secures Democracy Act.
The increased federal funding comes as recent polling once again demonstrates strong support for civic education from parents and voters across the political spectrum. This fall, the firm Cygnal queried more than 3,000 likely voters, with an oversample of Republican primary voters and K–12 parents from both parties. It found that strong majorities of respondents from both parties support civic education and more funding for it.
During Civic Learning Week, March 6–10, 2023, more than 100 organizations, states, and educators are hosting more than 100 in-person and online events across the country to highlight the important role civic learning plays in providing the knowledge, skills, and dispositions required to be informed and engaged members of our self-governing society.
About the CivXNow Coalition
The CivXNow Coalition is a project of iCivics, and is made up of more than 285 organizational partners working to elevate civic education and engagement as a national priority in order to sustain and strengthen U.S. constitutional democracy. To achieve this goal, the CivXNow Coalition advocates for bipartisan federal and state legislation that supports implementation of state and local policies that reimagine and deliver relevant, inclusive, and engaging K–12 civic learning, both in and out of school.