Sen. Sal DiDomenico recently announced a new civics education law aimed at strengthening civics education in the Commonwealth’s public schools by taking a nonpartisan approach to civic engagement projects and awareness programs starting in the eighth grade.
Sen. DiDomenico and his colleagues in the Massachusetts Legislature passed this piece of legislation in July and Governor Baker signed a revised version of the bill last week. DiDomenico was a strong supporter of the bill and greater civics education in the Commonwealth.
“Now more than ever, civics education is of the highest importance to teach and prepare our next generation of leaders,” said Sen.DiDomenico, Assistant Majority Leader of the Massachusetts Senate. “I am confident that this law will empower youth with the tools and knowledge they need to be well-versed in our electoral system and legislative process, and will ensure that they are ready to be active participants in our democracy.”
The law requires every school district that serves students in eighth grade or high school to offer all students the chance to participate in a non-partisan civics project. State officials will also be required to develop a voter registration challenge, to encourage students get their classmates to register or pre-register to vote.
The law also implements new requirements for civics education. Schools will now be required to teach:
- the state and U.S. constitutions;
- the Bill of Rights;
- local history and government;
- the branches of government;
- the responsibilities of a citizen in a democracy;
- digital media literacy;
- issues related to diversity and power; and
- etiquette regarding the flag.
A trust fund will be created to help school districts develop curricula that adhere to the new state history and civics education requirements.