Reps. Kildee, Hinson Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Expand Civics and Government Education

Press Release

Date: May 21, 2021
Location: Washington, DC

Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05), Chief Deputy Whip of the House Democratic Caucus, and Congresswoman Ashley Hinson (IA-01), today introduced new legislation to expand access to civics and government education.

The Promoting Programming, Research, Education and Preservation in (PREP) Civics and Government Act would add the study of civics and government to the scope of the National Endowment for the Humanities' (NEH's) work. According to researchers, students who take courses on civics, government and law are more likely to vote and be engaged in their communities. Unfortunately, only about 24 percent of eighth grade students were considered proficient on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) civics assessment. According to the Annenberg Public Policy Center, only two in five American adults surveyed in 2019 could correctly identify the three branches of government.

"Civic engagement is a critical to healthy, vibrant communities and a strong democracy. Civically engaged Americans vote in elections to have their voice heard on important issues that affect them daily and volunteer for local organizations that build community and provide services to those in need," said Congressman Kildee. "Learning how to participate in our government begins when young people learn about how their government was formed and how it works--both inside the classroom and in museums across the country. I am proud to introduce legislation to ensure our youth have access to civics education."

"Ensuring young people learn about civics and government will help the next generation understand our nation's history, the significance of our institutions, and hopefully encourage them to participate in our democracy. I am proud to help introduce this bipartisan legislation that will teach students important history lessons and encourage them to stay engaged in their school, community, and local government," said Congresswoman Hinson.

In addition to Kildee and Hinson, Reps. French Hill (AR-02), Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC-At Large), Mark Pocan (WI-02), Tom Reed (NY-23), Mary Gay Scanlon (PA-05) and Mark Takano (CA-41) are cosponsors of the legislation.

Since its creation in 1965, NEH has awarded more than $5.6 billion for humanities projects through more than 64,000 grants. NEH plays a key role in supporting education through professional development for K-12 educators, funding research in higher education and helping make low-cost textbooks available online. The PREP Civics and Government Act would expand access to civics and government education and learning materials.

The PREP Civics and Government Act is endorsed by a coalition of 15 organizations engaged in the humanities, civics and education, including: American Association for State and Local History, American Bar Association (ABA), American Political Science Association (APSA), Civic Engagement Research Group based at the University of California, Riverside, CivXNow Coalition, Massachusetts Council on the Social Studies, Michigan Center for Civic Education, Michigan Humanities, National Council for the Social Studies, Organization of American Historians, Social Science Education Consortium, Inc., Street Law, Inc., The Civics Center, The Henry Ford and Virginia Civics.