Spotlight on Civics in Spring State Legislative Sessions

CivXNow has been tracking proposed state legislation impacting civic education since January. At least 87 bills or resolutions addressing civics were filed in 35 states. Two are already signed into law, thirteen failed to advance, with the balance in various phases of legislative or executive consideration. Some of these proposals represent significant advances for civics, others are mostly window dressing, and a few would be detrimental to local control of civic education.

Among the most promising developments are:

  • Utah’s civic learning pilot program was shifted to the 2021–2022 school year (via HB 124) and signed into law by Governor Spencer Cox (R);
  • Virginia Governor Ralph Northam (D) signed legislation (HB 1940) empowering its Department of Education to develop guidelines for students for excused absences related to community participation;
  • Florida’s legislature passed a bill (S146) establishing a civics practicum for high school students and a school recognition program for civics; small differences between the two chambers must be reconciled before it advances to the Governor;
  • Georgia’s SB 220 would create a state civics commission and it passed both chambers; it advances to Governor Kemp’s desk for signing; and
  • Oregon’s SB 513 would add Oregon to the ranks of 41 other states with a high school civics course requirement; it passed the Senate on a strong bipartisan vote and heads next to the House.

State-by-state Bill Tracker

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