House Bill #5028 (2021)

AN ACT RELATING TO EDUCATION -- THE CIVIC LITERACY ACT

Requires the implementation of the civic literacy act for all students between the 8th and 12th grades.

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Changes since original draft

  • 2021 – H 5028
  • 2021 – H 5028 SUBSTITUTE A AS AMENDED
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  • LC000524/SUB A
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  • S T A T E O F R H O D E I S L A N D
  • S T A T E O F R H O D E I S L A N D
  • IN GENERAL ASSEMBLY
  • JANUARY SESSION, A.D. 2021
  • ____________
  • A N A C T
  • RELATING TO EDUCATION – THE CIVIC LITERACY ACT
  • A N A C T
  • RELATING TO EDUCATION – THE CIVIC LITERACY ACT
  • Introduced By: Representatives Newberry, Amore, Carson, Noret, Kislak, Casimiro, and
  • Fenton-Fung
  • Fenton-Fung
  • Date Introduced: January 15, 2021
  • Referred To: House Health, Education & Welfare
  • It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:
  • SECTION 1. Title 16 of the General Laws entitled "EDUCATION" is hereby amended by adding thereto the following chapter:
  • CHAPTER 22.3
  • THE CIVIC LITERACY ACT
  • 16-22.3-1. Short Title.
  • This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "The Civic Literacy Act."
  • 16-22.3-2. Legislative Findings.
  • The legislature finds and declares that:
  • (1) The adoption of the United States Declaration of Independence of 1776 and the signing of the United States Constitution were principal events in the history of the United States. The Declaration of Independence providing the philosophical foundation on which this nation rests and the Constitution of the United States providing its structure of government.
  • (2) It is essential to the health of Rhode Island and of our republic, that all citizens be knowledgeable about democratic principles and practices, including the fundamental documents of the United States Declaration of Independence, the Federalist Papers, the United States Constitution, and the Rhode Island Constitution.
  • (3) Many Americans lack even the most basic knowledge and understanding of the history of our nation, fundamental democratic principles, the rights and responsibilities of citizens, and the participatory skills necessary for effective and responsible participation as competent citizens.
  • (4) Providing civic education and promoting good citizenship and understanding of fundamental democratic principles should be a core mission of our state's schools.
  • (5) The survival of the republic requires that our nation's children, the future guardians of its heritage, and participants in its governance, have a firm, actionable knowledge and understanding of its principles and history.
  • 16-22.3-3. Purpose.
  • The purpose and intent of this chapter is to require all students between grades eight (8) and twelve (12), attending public schools, or other schools managed and controlled by the state of Rhode Island, to complete a course in American Civics proficiency, as defined in § 16-22.3-6, through project based assessment, commencing with the graduating class of 2025, and all graduating classes thereafter.
  • 16-22.3-4. Administration.
  • Thecommissionerofelementaryandsecondaryeducationshalladoptandpromulgaterules and regulations for the administration of this chapter to:
  • (1) Specifically provide for curriculum content and teacher training to ensure the intent of this legislation.
  • (2) Create a project-based civics learning assessment for district adoption, requiring students to conduct analytical research on a local community issue of his or her choice, engage an institution of government to influence the issue, and fulfill a summative assessment to demonstrate the process and outcomes.
  • (3) Articulate specific quantifiable standards for student-led civics projects and support local education agencies in the implementation.
  • (4) Prioritize supporting course implementation in districts that serve historically underserved students, including low-income, immigrant or refugee students.
  • 16-22.3-5. Funding for Civics Education.
  • (a) There shall be established and set up on the accounts of the Rhode Island department of education, a separate fund to be known as the "civics project trust fund." The fund shall be administered by the Rhode Island commissioner of education. The fund shall be funded with:
  • (1) Revenue from appropriations or other money authorized by the legislature and specifically designated to be credited to the fund;
  • (2) Interest earned on the revenues set forth in subsection (a)(1) of this section; and
  • (3) Funds from public or private sources such as gifts, grants and any other donations to further civic education and professional development.
  • (b) The amounts credited to the fund shall not be subject to further appropriation and any money remaining in the fund at the end of the fiscal year shall not revert to the general fund. The amounts credited to the fund may focus on underserved communities, including those school districts with high concentrations of economically disadvantaged students, and may be expended, without further appropriation, by the commissioner of education to administer the requirements set forthin§§16-22.3-3 and16-22.3-4, andfurther ensuringadiverseteacher workforce,inthesubject matter of social studies, that reflects student demographics to the maximum extent possible.
  • 16-22.3-6. Reporting and assessment.
  • (a) The commissioner of elementaryand secondaryeducationshall submit anannual report to the governor and the legislature describing the specific rules and regulations issued pursuant to this chapter and reporting the effectiveness of these rules and regulations, as measured by the passage of the course or courses pursuant to § 16-22.3-3.
  • (b) For purposes of statewide accountability, proficiency in civics education means the development of civics knowledge regarding the history and heritage of the United States, foundational documents, and the roles and responsibilities of federal, state and local documents, as well as the development of skills to access, analyze, debate and evaluate media, historical trends, and public policy issues related to the common good.
  • 16-22.3-7. Severability.
  • If any provisions of this chapter are declared unconstitutional, or the applicability of any provisions to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the constitutionality of the remainder of the chapter and its applicability to other persons and circumstances shall not be affected thereby.
  • SECTION 1. Section 16-22-2 of the General Laws in Chapter 16-22 entitled "Curriculum [See Title 16 Chapter 97 - The Rhode Island Board of Education Act]" is hereby amended to read as follows:
  • 16-22-2. Civics education.
  • (a) The general assembly recognizes the importance of a citizenry well educated in the principles of democracy as enunciated in the constitutions of the state of Rhode Island and the United States. The general assembly directs the board of regents for elementary and secondary education to develop and adopt a set of grade level standards K-12 in civics education no later than August 31, 2007. These standards shall include, but not be limited to, the history of the state of Rhode Island, representative government, the rights and duties of actively engaged citizenship, and the principals of democracy. These civic education standards shall be used in the public schools of this state beginning in kindergarten and continuing through to and including grade 12. No private school or private instruction shall be approved for the purposes of chapter 19 of this title unless the course of study shall make provision for instruction substantially equivalent to that required by this chapter for public schools.
  • (b) All middle and high school students attending public schools, or any other schools managed and controlled by the state, shall demonstrate proficiency, as defined by the local school district, in civics education that shall also satisfy half credit or course requirement in history and social studies.
  • (c) Each public school district shall provide not less than one student-led civics project for students during either middle or high school; provided, however, that each such project shall be consistent with the history and social studies standards and frameworks promulgated by the Rhode Island board of education. Civics projects may be individual, small group or class wide, and designed to promote a student's ability to:
  • (1) Reason, make logical arguments and support claims using valid evidence; and
  • (2) Demonstrate an understanding of the connections between federal, state and local policies, including issues that may impact the student's community.
  • (d) The department of education shall begin implementing subsections (b) and (c) of this section for the 2022-2023 academic year.
  • SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage.
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  • EXPLANATION
  • BY THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL
  • OF
  • A N A C T
  • EXPLANATION
  • BY THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL
  • OF
  • A N A C T
  • RELATING TO EDUCATION – THE CIVIC LITERACY ACT
  • ***
  • This act would require the implementation of the civic literacy act for all students between the eighth grade and twelfth grade, attending public schools, or other schools managed and controlled by the state of Rhode Island, requiring the students to demonstrate proficiency in civics education, commencing with the graduating class of 2025 and all graduating classes thereafter.
  • This act would take effect upon passage. ======== LC000524 ========
  • This act would require that middle and high school students that attend public schools demonstrate proficiency in civics education and would require public schools to provide not less than one student-led civics project in either middle or high school consistent with history and social studies frameworks promulgated by the Rhode Island board of education.
  • This act would take effect upon passage. ======== LC000524/SUB A ========

Votes

NOTE: Electronic voting records are unofficial and may not be accurate. For an official vote tally, check the House or Senate Journal from the day of the vote.

Floor vote for Passage Approval of Amendment

June 29, 2021 at 5:23pm
Yeas: 32 / Nays: 0 / Not voting: 6 / Recused: 0
Legislator Vote
Sen. Acosta Y
Sen. Algiere Y
Sen. Anderson Y
Sen. Archambault Y
Sen. Bell Y
Sen. Burke Y
Sen. Calkin NV
Sen. Cano NV
Sen. Ciccone Y
Sen. Coyne NV
Sen. Cruz NV
Sen. DiMario Y
Sen. DiPalma Y
Sen. Euer Y
Sen. Felag Y
Sen. Gallo Y
Sen. Goldin Y
Sen. Goodwin Y
Sen. Kallman Y
Sen. Lawson Y
Sen. Lombardi Y
Sen. Lombardo Y
Sen. Mack Y
Sen. McCaffrey Y
Sen. Mendes Y
Sen. Miller Y
Sen. Morgan NV
Sen. Murray Y
Sen. Paolino Y
Sen. Pearson Y
Sen. Picard Y
Sen. Quezada Y
Sen. Raptakis NV
Sen. Rogers Y
Sen. Ruggerio Y
Sen. Seveney Y
Sen. Sosnowski Y
Sen. Valverde Y

Floor vote for Passage Passage as Amended

June 29, 2021 at 5:24pm
Yeas: 36 / Nays: 0 / Not voting: 2 / Recused: 0
Legislator Vote
Sen. Acosta Y
Sen. Algiere Y
Sen. Anderson Y
Sen. Archambault Y
Sen. Bell Y
Sen. Burke Y
Sen. Calkin NV
Sen. Cano NV
Sen. Ciccone Y
Sen. Coyne Y
Sen. Cruz Y
Sen. DiMario Y
Sen. DiPalma Y
Sen. Euer Y
Sen. Felag Y
Sen. Gallo Y
Sen. Goldin Y
Sen. Goodwin Y
Sen. Kallman Y
Sen. Lawson Y
Sen. Lombardi Y
Sen. Lombardo Y
Sen. Mack Y
Sen. McCaffrey Y
Sen. Mendes Y
Sen. Miller Y
Sen. Morgan Y
Sen. Murray Y
Sen. Paolino Y
Sen. Pearson Y
Sen. Picard Y
Sen. Quezada Y
Sen. Raptakis Y
Sen. Rogers Y
Sen. Ruggerio Y
Sen. Seveney Y
Sen. Sosnowski Y
Sen. Valverde Y