Cornyn, Coons Introduce Bill to Promote Civics Education
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Chris Coons (D-DE) yesterday introduced the USA Civics Act, which would reauthorize an American history and civics grant program to promote knowledge of American political thought and history, free institutions, democracy, and participation in political and civic life:
“Learning about America’s rich history and what makes our political process unique is essential to preserving democracy,” said Sen. Cornyn. “This legislation would promote civics education in schools and universities and support teachers as they inspire young Texans to be engaged citizens.”
“Civic engagement lies at the heart of our democratic process,” said Sen. Coons. “We are living in one of the most polarized chapters of our country’s history, which makes it more important than ever to offer our future leaders robust opportunities to deepen both their knowledge of our institutions and their skills in participating in democratic discourse and advocacy. I am proud to partner with Senator Cornyn on this bipartisan effort to support scholarship on civics, the preparation of civics educators, and the training of a new generation of active citizens.”
The USA Civics Act would reauthorize and modernize an American history and civics grant program created under the Higher Education Act. It would authorize grants to colleges or university-nonprofit partnerships that promote knowledge of American political thought and history, free institutions, democracy, or means of participation in political and civic life. Funds must be used to support centers, programs, or teacher preparation initiatives focused on these issues, and other outreach activities.
Grants from the USA Civics Act could also be used to partner with nonprofit organizations or government humanities programs, develop open educational resources, or pursue other activities consistent with the purposes of the bill. The modernized text also ensures researchers and educators funded through the grant have the academic freedom necessary to the robust study of American history and political life.