Local Government and Politics

Crighton praises civics education legislation

BOSTON — State Sen. Brendan Crighton (D-Lynn) praised civic engagement legislation passed Thursday by the Senate as a way to engage children “…in the stewardship of our democracy.”

Senators worked 18 months to craft the measure

An Act to Promote and Enhance Civic Engagement, Crighton said.

The legislation enacts a hands-on approach to fostering civic engagement. The bill incorporates project-based learning, encourages the instruction of civic competencies,  including news and media literacy, and provides extracurricular civic-participation opportunities.

“Preparing the children of today to be responsible citizens of tomorrow begins with education about how our government operates at the local, state and federal levels and how the principles of our democracy have stood the test of time,” Crighton said in a statement.  “It is our responsibility to prepare students, to teach respectful and thoughtful discourse, and to instill for future generations the notion that democracy is not a spectator sport.”

The curriculum is made possible by the Civics Project Trust Fund, which will provide funding for training and for the further development of curriculum frameworks.

“One of the primary purposes of our education system is to have an informed and engaged citizenry,” said Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester) in a statement. “This bill will aid student understanding of rights, laws and our electoral system, and the value of their participation in our democracy.”

The bill has been referred to the House for consideration.

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