Many states have enacted miscellaneous laws dealing with civics instruction, which we neither oppose nor endorse. They may or may not be helpful, depending on the circumstances. We list them here for the use of civics education reformers.
A Civics Seal rewards students with recognition on their high school diploma for certain activities, without requiring those activities of all students. Such seals can be used with equal ease to forward traditional civics or action civics. We support repeal of Civics Seal laws that forward action civics. We support the passage of Civics Seal laws that encourage traditional civics.
Many states have passed laws encouraging voter education and voter registration in schools. As of 2021, such laws tend to increase the number of voters for radical candidates, since young voters at present tend to support radical candidates. Our main concern is to prevent voter registration and education campaigns from being incorporated into civics education classes. We recommend that state legislators pass laws that prevent voter education and voter registration from taking place during any class.
Several states have authorized nongovernmental organizations to recommend changes to their civics curricula. These laws frequently provide radical activists a vehicle by which to recommend curricula that include action civics or critical race theory. We recommend that state legislators not authorize nongovernmental organizations to make curriculum recommendations.
Patriotic Society Access
Several states have authorized patriotic societies to have access to public schools. While we applaud the spirit of these laws, we wonder whether radical activists might dub their organizations “patriotic societies” as a means to gain access to the schools.
Existing State Statutes
- Arizona: A.R.S. § 15-259 [State seal of civics literacy program; requirements; diploma; program termination]
- Tennessee: Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-6-1018 [Governor’s Civics Seal]
- California: Cal Ed Code Div. 2 Part 20 Chap. 4 § 33540 [Instructional Quality Commission [33530 – 33546]]
- Connecticut: Public Act No. 03-54 [An Act Establishing an Official State-Wide Student Voter Registration Drive]
- Iowa: Iowa Code § 280.9A [History and government required — voter registration]
- Kentucky: KRS § 158.6450 [Instruction in voter registration and election procedures]
- New Jersey: N.J. Stat. §18A:36-27 [Voting information]
- New York: NY CLS Title 1, Article 17, § 802-a [Instruction relating to general elections]; NY CLS Title 4, Article 65, Part 1, § 3207-a [Service of persons seventeen years of age as election inspectors or poll clerks]
- Oregon: ORS 329.049 [Plan to encourage voter registration and voting]
- Virginia: Va. Code Ann. § 22.1-203.4 [Public high schools; Virginia voter registration]
- Washington: Rev. Code Wash. § 28A.230.150 [Temperance and Good Citizenship Day—Aids in programming—Voter registration—Report]
- Connecticut: Public Act No. 03-108 [An Act Concerning Service by Students as Official Checkers at Polling Places]
- Alabama: Alabama Code Title 16. Education § 16-44A [Alabama Compact for Leadership and Citizenship Education]
- Colorado: C.R.S. 22-1-104.3 [History, culture, social contributions, and civil government in education commission – established – membership – duties]
- Indiana: IC 20-19-10 [Indiana Civic Education Commission]
- Louisiana: La. R.S. 24:971 – 974 [Louisiana Commission on Civic Education]
- Mississippi: Miss. Code Ann. § 37-13-195 [Mississippi Civil Rights Education Commission created; membership; terms of members; rules, regulations, standards and policies; funding]
- Rhode Island: R.I. Gen. Laws § 16-2.1-2 [Power and Duties [of Civic Education Commission]
Congressional Medal of Honor Film
- Illinois: 105 ILCS 5/27-3.5 [Congressional Medal of Honor film]
Legal System Instruction
- California: Cal Ed Code Div. 4 Part 28, Chap. 2 § 51220.2 [Courses of Study, Grades 7 to 12 [51220 – 51230]]
Patriotic Society Access
- Arkansas: A.C.A. § 6-10-132 [Patriotic Access to Students in Schools Act]
- Tennessee: Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-6-305 [Patriotic societies]
- Texas: Texas Education Code §25.0822 [Patriotic Society Access to Students]
- Georgia: O.C.G.A. § 20-2-310 [Student directory information; registering to vote and with selective service; pledge of allegiance]
- Louisiana: La. R.S. 17:269 [Selective service obligation orientation program]
The National Association of Scholars, in consultation with other supporters and friends of the Civics Alliance, drafted this list of statutes to translate into legislative policy the principles in the Civics Alliance’s Civics Curriculum Statement & Open Letter. This list has been drafted with the expectation that not every supporter of the Civics Alliance will endorse this list or every part of it. Individual Civics Alliance signatories and supporters should not be assumed to have endorsed this list, unless they say so explicitly.