State lawmakers are exploring an array of civic education bills that align with the CivXNow State Policy Menu, signaling a collective effort to elevate and enhance civic learning nationwide. Our policy team and state coalitions are responding to an evolving landscape but focusing on a few priority states this session, including Alaska, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, and Wisconsin.
Policy emphases from the early weeks of the Spring 2024 session include:
Given the increasing role of technology in shaping civic discourse, several states are incorporating information literacy into state education laws.
State Representative Jim Murphy, Missouri (R), introduced HB1513, Media Literacy and Critical Thinking Act, which proposes a pilot media literacy project in 5–7 school districts and allows each district to report back findings and recommendations to inform state standards. In Pennsylvania, Senators John I. Kane (D) and Amanda M. Cappelletti (D) filed SB343, establishing a K–12 curriculum for internet safety.
The Maryland Civic Education Coalition, a state CivXNow affiliate, is working with a bipartisan and bicameral group of legislators on a bill related to establishing the civic seals program.
Indiana Senators Jeff Raatz (R) and John Crane (R) introduced SB211, which establishes a civic seals program through the state department of education. In Alaska, Senator Stevens (R) sponsored and passed SB 29, a bipartisan bill last session, to require a new semester-long civics course in high school and a civics assessment/test. The bill awaits action in the House.
High School Civics
In Alaska, Senator Stevens (R) sponsored and passed SB 29, a bipartisan bill last session, to require a new semester-long civics course in high school and a civics assessment/test. The bill awaits action in the House.
The Wisconsin Civic Learning Coalition is weighing in on SB 83, sponsored by Senators Wanggaard (R) and Cabral-Guevara (R), that requires a high school civics course for graduation.
Teacher Professional Development
The Michigan Civics Coalition (MiCivics) is leading advocacy efforts to enhance professional development for K–12 civic educators and is exploring opportunities to begin a civic excellence recognition program for students.
To track these bills and others impacting civics across states, search CivXNow’s regularly updated pending bills by state database. The interactive CivXNow state policy scan provides a framework for high-quality civic education policy across states. For more information or to request support, please contact our Director of State Policy, Lisa Boudreau.