WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan, a member of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, cosponsored a bill that will strengthen civics education in American classrooms. The bill, the Constitution Education Is Valuable In Community Schools (CIVICS) Act, was introduced by Senators Jim Inhofe (R-OK) and Angus King (I-ME).
“Making sure that our students understand the fundamental principles in our Constitution is essential for a strong democracy,” Said Senator Hassan. “I come from a family of educators who have instilled in me the importance of understanding our country’s incredible history, including New Hampshire’s special role in helping create our democracy. This bill will help ensure that our classrooms help foster the next generation of leaders and ensure that our country’s democratic tradition is preserved. I will continue to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to empower and educate our young citizens.”
In 1952, Congress established Constitution Day to recognize the importance of the United States Constitution and the importance of citizenship and civics in our daily lives. In 2004, Congress expanded the recognition of Constitution Day, requiring public schools and federal agencies teach the Constitution and civics lessons. While the American History and Civics Education program under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended, created grants for institutions of higher education and other organizations to develop evidence based approaches to improve the quality of American history, civics and government, or geography learning and teaching, schools who receive these grants are not required to teach the Constitution, its history and principles, including the Bill of Rights. The CIVICS Act would require recipients to teach the Constitution.
Senator Hassan continues to recognize the importance of supporting our K-12 public education system, which is essential to ensuring that every child, no matter his or her circumstances, has the chance to learn, grow, and lead. This year, Senator Hassan introduced bipartisan legislation with Senator Todd Young (R-IN) to help more students earn college credits while still in high school. Earlier this year, the Senator also joined a bipartisan group of colleagues in introducing the Success for Rural Students and Communities Act, which would assist rural students in reaching their higher education goals and connect them with employment opportunities in their hometowns.