U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, D-Fla., announced this week that he will take over as the lead on the “Civics Learning Act” which the late U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., introduced at the start of the year.
The proposal “amends the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to increase civics education programs in our nation’s schools” by increasing “funding for innovative and evidence-based civics learning and teaching programs, including hands-on civic engagement activities, online and video game-based learning, service learning, and participation in student governance.” The bill would also “make up to $30 million available to improve elementary, middle, and high school civic engagement curriculums, boosting knowledge, interest, and involvement in American civic life.”
Hastings weighed in on his proposal at the start of the year.
“On the dawn of a new presidential administration following four years of leadership that did all it could to undermine and erode our democratic institutions, we must take stock of how we arrived at this place in our history and recommit to ensuring our students have access to high-quality civics education. That is why I introduced the Civics Learning Act of 2021, which increases federal support for innovative civics learning programs that can empower the next generation of American leaders and, thereby, strengthen our democracy and commitment to the rule of law for decades to come,” said Hastings.
Forty Democrats in the U.S. House lined up behind Hastings’ bill including U.S. Reps. Kathy Castor, Crist, Ted Deutch, Al Lawson and Stephanie Murphy from Florida. Hastings passed away last month.
“My dear friend, the late Rep. Alcee Hastings, was a fiercely passionate advocate for America’s youth, working to empower the next generation of great American leaders through education, advancement, and civic engagement,” said Rep. Crist. “Though he may no longer be with us, his legacy remains – and I’m proud to carry it onward by re-introducing his Civics Learning Act. He knew the truth that America is strongest when our people understand and can participate in our democracy, and with this effort, we’ll do just that.”
The bill was sent to the U.S. House Education and Labor Committee back in January.
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org.