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Last week, Senator Lamar Alexander, Chairman of the US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) released his draft of a Re-Authorization of the Elementary & Secondary Education Act (ESEA).
Sadly, there is nothing in the Bill for Civics, History, or Social Studies. Your immediate action can help remedy this.
We are proposing that Chairman Alexander and his Committee adopt a provision establishing a competitive grant program for civics that was offered by Sen. Mike Enzi and adopted and passed by the HELP Committee in 2011.
Our U.S. Senators have an opportunity to weigh-in now by contacting Sen. Alexander and ranking Member Patty Murray of the HELP Committee. Let's let them know what we want!
What you can do NOW -- before Feb 2nd
Contact Senator Durbin and Senator Kirk using the sample email text below as a guide. Below are some tips:
Sample email text below -- personalize, cut, and paste
Subject: URGENT ESEA Request
Dear Senator (insert Senator's last name):
As a (choose one: teacher, parent, student, concerned citizen), I am writing to urge you to include competitive grants to support innovative, engaging teaching of Civics and American History in the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
As the Senate considers reauthorization of ESEA, please contact Chairman Alexander and Ranking Member Murray to urge that they include the following language, which was originally drafted by Senator Enzi and included in the 2011 Committee-passed bill (with an amendment to add American History, indicated by [...]):
"Insert, in the section on Programs of National significance:
Grants shall be made to support developing, implementing, evaluating, and disseminating for voluntary school use innovative, research-based approaches to civic learning [and American History], which may include hands-on civic engagement activities, for low-income elementary school and secondary school students, that demonstrate innovation, scalability, accountability, and a focus on underserved populations."
Civic learning is vital to our nation's future. Justice Sandra Day O'Connor has rightly described a "crisis" in civic learning. Please help fix this crisis by providing a small amount of Federal funding to help each state prepare the next generation to assume their rights and responsibilities as engaged and informed citizens of our Republic.
(Insert your name)
The addendum includes public comments made to the task force at the four meetings held throughout the state as well as written comments. The addendum as well as the final report can be read here: http://www.isbe.net/career/html/CETF.htm