Ohio dominates the news in today’s Resolute! Testimony, bills in the House and Senate, and lots of great work by Civics Alliance members. Read on …

Ohio Higher Education Enhancement Act Passes Senate

The Ohio Senate has passed Senate Bill 83, the Ohio Higher Education Enhancement Act. SB 83, sponsored by Senator Jerry Cirino, will do an extraordinary amount to depoliticize Ohio’s public colleges and universities, strengthen intellectual diversity on campus, and restore citizen oversight of the state’s higher education system.

SB 83’s sponsors went above and beyond for their state’s citizens to offer a comprehensive overhaul of Ohio higher education. Their catalogue of reforms includes requirements that colleges and universities commit themselves to intellectual diversity, and to prohibiting both “diversity statements” and mandatory trainings or courses in discriminatory concepts such as “diversity, equity, and inclusion” (DEI). The bill also adds requirements for reformed mission statements, syllabus transparency, detailed budgetary transparency, nondiscrimination, transparency regarding speaker fees, and a new American history and government general education course. Importantly, the bill reinforces prohibitions on segregation and bars financial entanglements with the People’s Republic of China.

We encourage members of the Civics Alliance to read the text of SB 83 and see what parts of it might be appropriate for policymakers in their own states to consider.

Ohio Testimony: HB 103 (American Birthright)

The Civics Alliance gave solid testimony support to Ohio HB 103, which would establish a task force to revise Ohio K–12 social studies standards based upon the American Birthright model. The in-person testimony was solid in numbers, and solidly delivered—but the written testimony is a tribute to the hard work of the Civics Alliance membership. Thank you!—you provided wonderful support when it was needed. The biggest news for this issue of Resolute is that the Civics Alliance membership has done good and necessary work and has set up HB 103 well for further legislative progress.

Ohio Senate Bill 117 (Independent Schools at Ohio Universities)

The Civics Alliance is delighted that Ohio Senators Jerry Cirino and Rob McColley have introduced legislation to establish independent schools at two of the state’s public universities—the Ohio State University and the University of Toledo—free from the radical monoculture monopolizing higher education. The bill is a vital complement to HB 103: students educated in independent schools at these universities will be capable of teaching American Birthright to K–12 students. We will also be supporting this bill, which is part of a wonderful trifecta of proposed legislation emerging from Ohio.

Civics Alliance Twitter

David Randall now has a Twitter account, publicizing articles generally of interest to the Civics Alliance. We’re not yet at an Elon Musk level of followers, but we’re working on it. Follow us @DavidRandallNAS for regular updates.

American Birthright Taskforce Act

The Civics Alliance has just published the American Birthright Taskforce Act, drafted by the National Association of Scholars. The Act provides model language so that state policymakers can create a social studies task force, appointed by the governor and the state legislature, to draft social studies standards based on American Birthright: The Civics Alliance’s Model K-12 Social Studies Standards. State policymakers may use this Act to establish American Birthright directly, rather than work through (too-often heel-dragging) state education departments.

The Act creates a social studies task force to draft social studies standards based on American Birthright—and which therefore can be tailored to suit the state’s own needs. The task force provides an opportunity for public input, its work product has to be approved by the education committees of both legislative houses, and every member of both legislative houses will have a chance to move amendments of the standard in detail. If the standards pass by concurrent resolution in both legislative chambers, then they are in effect for five years—at which point, they will be subject to review by a new task force.

Civics Alliance State Affiliates

The Civics Alliance is building a network of state affiliates—groups dedicated to removing action civics in their states, whom we will list on our website. We now have nine affiliates, in Alabama, Georgia, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Texas. If you would like to form such an organization, or suggest an existing organization, please get in touch with David Randall (randall@nas.org).

Monthly American Birthright Zoom Meeting

The Civics Alliance will have its monthly Zoom session devoted to social studies standards reform on Tuesday, May 30, at 4:00 PM Eastern Time. Please email randall@nas.org if you would like to join these monthly Zoom meetings.

Social Studies Standards Revision Schedule

2023/Current: Alaska, California, Connecticut, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky (partial), Maine, Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Wyoming

2024: Alabama, Arizona, Montana, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Wisconsin

2025: Kentucky, Nebraska, Texas

2026: Colorado, Maryland, North Dakota, South Carolina

2027: Hawaii, Kansas

2029: Louisiana

2031: Illinois

No Revision Currently Scheduled: Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri (but could change), New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Washington

Waiting Confirmation: North Carolina (2021)

Please email David Randall (randall@nas.org) if you are interested in further information about your state’s social studies revision process, and what you can do to participate.

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.

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 Executive Director of the Civics Alliance and Director of Research at the National Association of Scholars.

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