Civics Funding Holds Strong in a Tough Fiscal Environment

Late last week, Congress passed its remaining Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 spending bills, which include $23M for K–12 civic education. This encompasses $3M for American History and Civics Academies and $20M for American History and Civics National Activities. These funding levels are identical to FY23, a major victory for the civic education field given divided government in D.C. and downward pressure on overall spending. The FY23 and FY24 funding levels triple those from FY22 ($7.75M).

Last year’s grants are having a major, positive impact on the field of civic education:

  • Through FY23 funding, the federal Department of Education issued four American History and Civics Academies grants, up from one in FY21, and 25 American History and Civics National Activities grants, up from six in FY22.
  • Three-quarters of Academies grant recipients and nearly half of National Activities grants recipients are CivXNow members.
  • Last year’s National Activities grants are currently serving an estimated 4,000 teachers and 400,000 students. Eighty-four percent of these grants provide professional learning opportunities for teachers. Nearly half of the grants (48%) also involve curriculum development, and a third (32%) student programming.

We are grateful for the 330+ members of the CivXNow Coalition contacting congressional offices and making the case for continued federal investments in high-quality K–12 civic education. This outreach made a major difference, as current civics funding investments were imperiled.

This process begins anew for FY25, where we seek $30M for K-12 civic education, a 30% increase from FY23-24. Long-term, the CivXNow Coalition will pursue reintroduction of the bipartisan, bicameral Civics Secures Democracy Act, which represents a generational investment in K–12 civic education.

While current federal funding levels for K–12 civics are reason to celebrate, they still represent less than fifty cents per K–12 student, as opposed to the $50+ per student investments in STEM subjects. Federal investments in K–12 civic education are critical to its prioritization across states and school districts. By respecting local control, they empower districts, schools, and teachers to provide students with universal access to high-quality civic learning opportunities throughout their K–12 trajectories.

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