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.
Victory in Texas
Last week, Governor Abbott signed into law H.B. 3979. Texas becomes the first state in the nation to draw on the Partisanship Out of Civics Act (POCA) to defend its schools from action civics and Critical Race Theory. H.B. 3979 was changed for the worse during the legislative session by opponents who sought to provide poison-pill amendments. It now includes, for example, a requirement that Texas students be taught “the history of white supremacy.” These wrecking changes should be removed as soon as possible. Nevertheless, the heart of the POCA model language remains and is now law in Texas. This is wonderful news. Texas’s law now becomes a model for the other 49 states.
Texas also passed into law House Bill 2397—the 1836 Project—which further strengthens civics education. The popular uprising to reform civics education doesn’t and shouldn’t end with forbidding action civics.
Veto Needed in Florida
The Florida Legislature unfortunately passed S.B. 146 into law. S.B. 146 authorizes extensive action civics in Florida schools. Florida would be best served if Governor Ron DeSantis vetoed the bill. We urge Civics Alliance members to inform Governor DeSantis about the nature of action civics, and why he should veto S.B. 146. You may contact him here.
State School Boards at Work: Alabama, Georgia, Florida
The Alabama State School Board has joined its Georgia peer in issuing a statement saying that schools should not use Critical Race Theory. So has the Florida State School Board. The Alabama decision was prompted in part by a letter from Eagle Forum Alabama. Decisions by state school boards should be complemented by state legislation—and laws and regulations always have to be put into force in each school, where entrenched radical activists will seek to make them a dead letter. But these are cautions for the long run. Right now, we know that multiple state school boards have come out against Critical Race Theory. Civics Alliance members should inform more state school boards about Critical Race Theory—and about action civics.
Montana Attorney General Holds that Critical Race Theory Violates Federal and State Law
Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen issued an Attorney General’s Opinion (AGO), holding the use of “Critical Race Theory” (CRT) and so-called “antiracism” programming in many instances is discriminatory and violates federal and state law. Knudsen’s action shows that state attorneys general can take real and effective action to bar CRT from our schools. Civics Alliance members should consider providing state attorneys general with specific examples of how improperly politicized action civics has violated state and federal law.
U.S. Representatives Launch Campus Free Speech Caucus
Representatives Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Kat Cammack (R-FL) have launched a Campus Free Speech Caucus. Congress needs a Bar Action Civics Caucus and a Bar Critical Race Theory Caucus. We encourage Civics Alliance members to inform their representatives and senators of the possibility.
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.
Individuals and organizations around the nation continue to produce new, helpful resources to oppose action civics and Critical Race Theory. Recent additions include:
American Mind: Fighting Critical Race Theory, One Door at a Time
Christopher Rufo: Critical Race Theory Briefing Book
MacIver Institute: Critical Race Theory In Wisconsin K12 Education
Manhattan Institute: Woke Schooling: A Toolkit for Concerned Parents
National Association of Scholars: Julie Quist’s Tactical Tips on Organizing
Oregon Association of Scholars: Responding to Social Justice Rhetoric
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 me ([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 now use the Civics Bill Tracker to track all proposed federal and state legislation related to civics.
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.