The WSCSS is co-sponsoring House Bill 1896/Senate Bill 5668 (Civic Education and Teacher Training). This bill would expand the Civics Education Teacher Program within the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) to provide civics training and support for teachers within the state.
The bill needs to be moved out of the Rules Committee to be considered by the House of Representatives. The Committee will likely be voting on this bill in the next few days.
According to the nonpartisan House Bill Report ESHB 1513 report, the bill:
Establishes an expanded civics education teacher training program (program) in the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI).
Establishes requirements for the program, including providing for the selection of a team of social studies teachers and civics educational specialists from across the state who will be tasked with developing teacher training materials and providing professional learning opportunities.
Requires, beginning with or before the 2020-21 school year, each school district to offer a one-half credit stand-alone elective course in civics to all high school students in the district.
Specifies that if the State Board of Education (SBE) increases the number of course credits in social studies that are required for high school graduation, the SBE must also require that at least one-half credit of that requirement be a stand-alone course in civics, and establishes additional and associated civics course content requirements.
Directs the OSPI to select two school districts that are diverse in size and in geographic and demographic makeup to serve as demonstration sites for enhanced civics education.
The WSCSS reaffirms its support of House Bill 1896 and the Legislature’s goal of providing more support and training to teachers as they implement the civics and history instruction in the classroom. We further support the creation of the Expanded Civics Education Teacher Training Program and its stated goals of providing training for teachers that they are prepared to instruct students in the workings of government and how to participate in civic life.
We believe that this new program is needed to help align civics and history instruction across the state so that all students are receiving instruction on government, how to exercise their rights, and know the responsibilities of being a citizen in our democracy.
If you would like to help us get this bill passed sooner rather than later, please email Speaker Frank Chopp and ask him to schedule SHB 1896 and pass this bill out of the Rules Committee before the cutoff.
Speaker Frank Chopp