On November 30th, US Senators Chris Coons (D-DE) and John Cornyn (R-TX) introduced S.4928, the bipartisan “Educating for Democracy” Act, in the U.S. Senate. The bill is identical in language to HR.8295, the U.S. House of Representatives “Educating for Democracy” Act, introduced by Rep Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) on September 17, 2020.
This comprehensive, bipartisan legislation would authorize $1 billion in federal investment in civic and history education, including research, innovation, and teacher professional development, and would require the National Assessments of Educational Progress (NAEPs) in civic and history education to be conducted every two years at grades 4, 8 and 12, with state level results made publicly available. The largest part of the funding would go to states and local school districts to improve and innovate their approach to these subjects.
Reps. DeLauro and Cole and Sens. Coons and Cornyn will reintroduce the “Educating for Democracy” Act early in the new year in the new 117th Congress. In consultation with many members of the CivXNow Coalition, some changes and tweaks have been made to the legislation for reintroduction. A CivXNow Federal Policy Implementation Subcommittee has been formed which includes a number of former officeholders, former administration officials and members of the Coalition with a Capitol Hill presence. This group will help advocate for the bill’s passage in Congress and with the new Administration.
Your Help is Needed Next Session
Once the bill has been reintroduced in the House and Senate, we will send you alerts and ask you to take immediate action. It is essential that all advocates for American history and civic education, reach out to their two U.S. Senators and U.S. House member to solicit their co-sponsorship and support for the bill. We will provide you with the tools you need to effectively contact your Senators and Representative.
We expect that the legislation will take through 2021 to pass and that it will be folded into the reauthorization of the “Elementary and Secondary Education” Act (ESEA). In order to successfully pass the “Educating for Democracy” Act, either as part of the ESEA or as a standalone bill, it is imperative that all advocates for civics and history diligently contact their members of Congress to urge co-sponsorship and passage of the bill.
Thank you to all the organizations that endorsed the “Educating for Democracy” Act of 2020.