Introduced by Senator Condos of Chittenden District, Senator Collins of Franklin District, Senator Doyle of Washington District, Senator Dunne of Windsor District, Senator Miller of Chittenden District, Senator Starr of Essex-Orleans District and Senator Wilton of Rutland District
Subject: Education; legislative council; civics educator
Statement of purpose: This bill proposes to establish a position of a civics educator in the legislative council.
AN ACT RELATING TO A CIVICS EDUCATOR IN THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL
It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:
Sec. 1. 2 V.S.A. chapter 13, subchapter 6 is added to read:
Subchapter 6. Civics Education
§ 431. CIVICS EDUCATION; DEVELOPMENT OF PROGRAMS,
MATERIALS, AND ACTIVITIES
(a) The general assembly believes that civics education is vital to the future of our democracy. Involvement in the democratic process through interaction with adults who are engaged in the process and observation of our representatives and senators at work is one of the best ways to demonstrate the importance of public participation in a representative democracy.
(b) Therefore, the legislative council shall develop and implement civics education programs, materials, and activities which facilitate connections between legislators and Vermont’s young people and maximize use of the state house and its resources for the purpose of educating our future citizens and leaders about representative democracy. Programs shall be designed to engage young people in the democratic process, to increase their understanding of the process, and to inspire participation in the process.
(c) In order to aid it in the development and implementation of civics education programs, the council may appoint an advisory committee made up of educators and others who may be able to provide guidance and advice.
(d) Programs, materials, and activities available to school groups as well as other groups, such as scouting groups, boys’ and girls’ state, and afterschool programs, may include:
(1) curricula which teachers and group leaders may use and which include participation of a legislator or legislators or a visit to the state house, or both;
(2) activities which students visiting the state house may participate in which may include mock legislative sessions;
(3) materials that teachers and group leaders or legislators, or both, may use in the classroom or in the state house;
(4) a website which provides educational materials and curricular ideas, facilitates connections among teachers and group leaders and legislators, and helps teachers and group leaders to use the state house to teach their students about the democratic process; and
(5) other programs, materials, or activities designed to educate young Vermonters about our democratic system and to inspire them to participate in the process as adults.
Sec. 2. APPROPRIATION
The amount of $70,000.00 is appropriated to the legislative council in fiscal year 2006 for the purpose of developing and carrying out a civics education program pursuant to 2 V.S.A. § 431.
The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street