We members of the Civics Alliance convened by the National Association of Scholars call on all U.S. Senators, Representatives, as well as all concerned American citizens, to oppose the Civics Secures Democracy Act, whether in its original or its revised form. In practice, the Civics Secures Democracy Act will enable the federal government to impose both Critical Race Theory and “Action Civics”—vocational training for ideologically partisan protest and lobbying—upon America’s schools.
Over the last year, voters and their representatives in state after state have delivered a resounding rebuke of Critical Race Theory in education. Their message remains clear: schools must be free of indoctrination and activism. Yet, the Civics Secures Democracy Act would supercharge politicized education around the country, at precisely the moment when the public has rejected it.
Last year, the Civics Alliance sent an open letter to Senator John Cornyn and Congressman Tom Cole, urging them to rescind their support for the Civics Secures Democracy Act. We renew that appeal to Sen. Cornyn and Rep. Cole now, and address it to other Senators and Representatives as well. Far from supporting the teaching of traditional American civics, the Civics Secures Democracy Act will do the opposite. Under the pretense of supporting American civic education, this bill would fund education research and teaching initiatives with an unmistakable ideological agenda. The Biden administration made that clear when it issued priorities for American civics and history grants, guidelines which approvingly referenced The 1619 Project and the work of Ibram X. Kendi. The Biden administration history and civics grant guidelines amount to a call for Critical Race Theory in education, and the Civics Secures Democracy Act would fund it.