Victory in Florida, the Texas Special Session, and the Model K-12 Civics Code

David Randall

Resolute is the Civics Alliance’s newsletter, informing you about the most urgent issues in civics education. Above all, Resolute will provide information about federal and state legislation that seeks to impose action civics, or to preserve traditional civics.

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Victory in Florida

Governor Ron DeSantis vetoed SB 146, which would have authorized extensive action civics in Florida schools. Governor DeSantis explicitly noted that “The proposed bill seeks to further so-called ‘action civics’ but does so in a way that risks promoting the preferred orthodoxy of two particular institutions.” We are delighted with Governor DeSantis, who has acted boldly to protect Florida’s schools and schoolchildren from action civics. We urge all members of the Civics Alliance to inform the Governor and his office of their gratitude and their approval.

Texas Special Session

Texas House Bill 3979 (HB 3979), which bans Critical Race Theory and action civics in Texas’ public schools, isn’t perfect. Opposition lawmakers inserted a large number of poison-pill amendments, such as requiring that history and civics classes teach about “white supremacy.” Governor Greg Abbott wrote in his signing statement that HB 3979 will be revisited in a special session of the legislature. That’s great news. Texas legislators need to fix this damaged law and restore it to the Partisanship Out of Civics Act model. Now they have a chance to do so at once. We urge all members of the Civics Alliance to inform the Governor and Texas state lawmakers of how HB 3979 should be revised to fulfill its original purpose to ban CRT and action civics.

Indiana Attorney General Tells Parents Their Rights

Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita has published a Parents Bill of Rights (PBOR). The PBOR doesn’t itself ban Action Civics or Critical Race Theory, but it informs parents what actual Indiana law is—what the state really mandates in its schools, and how parents can work to prevent local school districts from forcing Action Civics or CRT on students, teachers, or staff. Rokita has provided an excellent tool for Indiana parents. Indiana needs to do more to ban Action Civics and CRT, but Rokita has provided an excellent foundation for future efforts.

Trump Outlines Plan to Remove Action Civics and Critical Race Theory

President Donald Trump published a plan to remove action civics and Critical Race Theory from our nation. His intervention is crucial to keep the American people motivated for this struggle. The Civics Alliance is delighted that President Trump supports our campaign to remove these blights from America’s schools and universities.

Model K-12 Civics Code

Civics education cannot be reformed piecemeal. Proper civics education reform requires a larger reform of each state’s social studies curriculum, which includes civics education and history education as part of a larger, coherent whole. The National Association of Scholars has produced a Model K-12 Civics Code to cover the entire range of K-12 civics education legislation. The Model Code also includes recommendations for which state laws should be repealed in whole or in part. Its emphasis, however, is to provide civics education reformers in each state a coherent model for what civics education should be.

Local Work, Local Victories

Americans can only sweep back action civics and Critical Race Theory by local work in each town and school. They have begun to do this work—and they have begun to achieve victories. Other Americans should read this news to take heart—and to take notes on how to organize themselves. For example, they should attend the July 8 webinar sponsored by the Concerned Women of America, which teaches How to Lobby the Education Bureaucracy. We urge Civics Alliances members to sign up for tips.

New Resources

Individuals and organizations around the nation continue to produce new, helpful resources to oppose action civics and Critical Race Theory. Recent ones include:

Cameron Hilditch, A Critical Race Theory Reader

National Association of Scholars, Issue Brief: The C3 Framework

National Association of Scholars, Model K-12 Civics Code

National Association of Scholars, Higher Education Civics Priorities

Civics Alliance State Affiliates

The Civics Alliance would like to build up a network of state affiliates—groups dedicated to removing action civics in their state, whom we would list on our forthcoming website. If you would like to form such an organization, or suggest an existing organization, please get in touch with Civics Alliance Policy Director David Randall ([email protected]).

Continuing Priorities: Federal Legislation

At the federal level, the Civics Secures Democracy Act threatens to impose action civics nationwide.

The Civics Bill Tracker

Civics Alliance members may use the Civics Bill Tracker to track all proposed federal and state legislation related to civics.

Public Action

We encourage Civics Alliance members to inform the public and policymakers about the stakes and consequences of action civics bills. 

David Randall is Director of Research at the National Association of Scholars and Project Director of the Civics Alliance.

Image: Michael Rivera, Wikimedia CommonsCreative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license, cropped.

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