Issue Team Chair: Karen Verrill – gokar1 [at] comcast.net – (360) 866-6187
Issue Paper: Civic Education (PDF)
2SHB 1896 was passed out of both houses this week and sent to the Governor's office for signing. A third section was added regarding History Day that is celebrated in schools every year. This was financially supported by the History Society, but now the funding will pass through the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction as will the rest of 2SHB 1896.
We continue to support this state wide effort to help our students learn how interesting and complex our governments are and how they can participate.
The League supported HB 1896 last year, which would have expanded civics education in public schools and focused on professional development, but it did not pass. New information has been added by staff at the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction and it will be re-introduced as a Striker Amendment. The intent is to provide in-depth and interactive teacher training throughout the state and to require at least one-half credit of a stand-alone civics class be required for all high school students.
A new section has been added that will develop two civic education demonstration school districts that develop collaborative programs and agencies in local communities to expand after-school and summer civic education opportunities. A semester of civics has been required since 2016 but it can be embedded in history or social studies classes. We believe civics should be a stand-alone class because the content would be more thorough and students would learn how to be active within their community.