The Massachusetts Senate unanimously approved $1.5 million in funding for the newly-created Civics Project Trust Fund. The Trust Fund will be utilized for implementation of the 2018 Civics Education Law.
The Civics Project Trust Fund is administered by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to support the infrastructure, curricular resources, and professional development needed to effectively integrate high quality civic-learning in Massachusetts schools.
“This funding is critical to equipping our next generation with the tools and information needed to be active and engaged citizens,” said Senator Moore. “Civic education is an essential component of the survival of our precious democracy. I was pleased to vote in favor of this budget amendment.”
The Civics Education Law was signed by Governor Baker in November 2018 and ensures that Massachusetts public schools teach civic-participation and American history. It also requires that middle and high school students participate in no less than one student-led civics project.
“It’s necessary to help fund professional development opportunities for educators, and to assist school districts with the implementation of the landmark civic education legislation signed into law last year,” said Roger Desrosiers of Millbury, who serves as the President of the Massachusetts Center for Civic Education. “Thank you to Senator Moore, Senator Chandler, and the Senate as a whole for their support of a vigilant, engaged and informed youth who will be our future leaders and voters here in Massachusetts and across our country.”
The law focuses specifically on project-based learning, which is a hands-on and experiential approach to fostering civic engagement and encourages young-adults to participate in their communities. The law additionally encourages the instruction of civic competencies – including news and media literacy, and critical thinking skills – and provides extracurricular civic-participation opportunities.