Secretary of State
Senate Committee Paves Way for More Civic Education
(Frankfort, KY) Kentucky high schools are one step closer to an innovative new course that will not only place an emphasis on civics education but also upon the civic engagement of students, thanks to the work of the Senate Education Committee. The committee enthusiastically passed Senate Bill 115, sponsored by Sen. Jack Westwood (R-Crescent Springs), which will create a pilot program for the course at ten high schools across the state but will also place the program in the Kentucky Virtual High School, providing all Kentucky students the opportunity to take a civics course.
“We are delighted that Sen. Westwood has continued to support this initiative and are thankful for Chairman Winters and the entire committee for their support,” stated Secretary of State Trey Grayson. “This will be an incredible opportunity for Kentucky students.”
The idea for the bill originated from the Civic Literacy Initiative of Kentucky (CLIK), which Grayson and Westwood lead as members of the Kentucky Workgroup on Civic Literacy. The CLIK has been working to develop a strategy for enhancing long-term civic engagement and literacy within the Commonwealth. This bill is part of a recommendation from the CLIK’s upcoming report, Rediscovering Democracy: An Agenda for Action. The report will be released in the upcoming weeks.
“This legislation will certainly increase the civic literacy and engagement of our Commonwealth’s students,” stated Sen. Westwood. “It is another important step in our efforts to build a stronger democracy through civic education.”
The recommendations of the CLIK were derived from 11 regional meetings and two statewide summits held over the last year and a half. Among the participants were students, P-16educators, college administrators, elected officials, administrators and staff of local government agencies, education organizations’ representatives, non-education non-profit representatives, as well as members of the general public and media. The CLIK issued an initial report, Rediscovering Democracy: A Report on the Kentucky Summit on Civic Literacy.
Gene Wilhoit, Commissioner of the Department of Education, also testified on behalf of the legislation. “The leadership shown by Secretary Grayson and Sen. Westwood is to be praised. Senate Bill 115 takes general ideas and turns them into one of the most aggressive programs in the country for improving civic literacy. I have pledged the full support of the Kentucky Department of Education for this legislation,” commented Wilhoit.
For more information about the Civic Literacy Initiative of Kentucky, please visit: http://civicsky.nku.edu/.
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