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It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  16 V.S.A. chapter 1, subchapter 5A is added to read:



(a)  The general assembly declares that one of the primary functions of education is to promote and encourage an enlightened and responsible citizenry committed to a republican form of government and actively engaged in the practice of democracy.  Therefore, the general assembly hereby establishes a council on civics education to strengthen civics education opportunities for all Vermonters.

(b)  The council shall consist of the secretary of state or designee; the commissioner of education or designee; two senators, each from different political parties, chosen by the committee on committees; two  representatives, each from different political parties,  chosen by the speaker of the house; and one person chosen by each of the following organizations:  the Vermont league of women voters, the Vermont bar association, the Vermont council on the humanities, the Vermont principals association, the Snelling Center for Government, a teacher from the Vermont alliance for social studies, a teacher from the Vermont national education association, the Vermont school boards association, and the Vermont superintendents association.

(c)  The council shall:

(1)  continually assess the status of civics education in Vermont schools;

(2)  make recommendations to enhance civics education;

(3)  maintain an inventory of civics and service education opportunities available for Vermont students;

(4)  assess and recommend best practices in civics education;

(5)  build and maintain a network of civics education professionals to share information and strengthen partnerships;

(6)  support and help coordinate an alignment of civics education curricula at all education levels, including higher education;

(7)  report annually on its activities to the senate and house committees on education.

(d)  The council may:

(1)  invite representatives of youth groups and other organizations to participate in subcommittees organized for specific purposes;

(2)  seek and accept funding from private, nonprofit, or governmental agencies to help carry out its mission;

(3)  hold workshops and conferences so that those who promote civics education may share information.

(e)  The council may meet at as many as four times each year provided that two meetings are during the legislative session.  The council shall receive support and administrative services from the department of education.  For meetings during adjournment of the legislature, legislative members shall be entitled to compensation for services and reimbursement for expenses as provided in section 406 of title 2.

Sec. 2.  32 V.S.A. § 1010(a)(32) is added to read:

(32)  The council on civics education.

Sec. 3.  Subsection 71(b) of Act No. 68 of the Acts of 2003 is amended to read:

(b)  There is established a council on education governance to consist of three two members of the senate, not all from the same party, chosen by the committee on committees; three two members of the house, not all from the same party, chosen by the speaker; the secretary of administration; the secretary of human services, or designee; a member of the state board of education chosen by the chair of the board; two representatives of the business community chosen by the governor; two parents chosen jointly by the governor and the commissioner of education after consultation with organizations representing parents and children; a representative of school boards chosen by the school boards association; a representative of teachers chosen by the Vermont national teachers association; a representative of superintendents chosen by the superintendents association; and a representative of principals chosen by the principals association.  It is the intent of the general

assembly that council members, in addition to having knowledge about the needs and challenges facing people working in and served by Vermont’s education system, shall be individuals who have knowledge of organization and systems development and who have the ability to analyze and communicate economic and educational data.  The council shall receive staff services from the legislative council and the joint fiscal office.  Members not otherwise compensated shall be entitled to per diem and expenses.

Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont