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ACR-87 Upholding democracy through civic education in public schools. (2019-2020)

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ACR87:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  June 24, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Concurrent Resolution
No. 87


Introduced by Assembly Member Quirk-Silva

May 02, 2019


Relative to the Pledge for Democracy Through Our Public Schools. civic education in public schools.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


ACR 87, as amended, Quirk-Silva. The Pledge for Democracy Through Our Public Schools. Upholding democracy through civic education in public schools.
This measure would endorse the Pledge for Democracy Through Our Public Schools, activities in public schools that instruct pupils in upholding and sustaining American democracy, encourage, in the strongest terms, California schools to pursue certain recognized designations that reflect specified ethos and values, and encourage publicly elected officials to conduct themselves in ways that strengthen civic engagement and participation in civil society.
Fiscal Committee: YES  

WHEREAS, American democracy is under threat; and
WHEREAS, A well-supported public education system is the foundation for assuring ensuring a well-educated and engaged citizenry; and
WHEREAS, Public schools are foundational to upholding and sustaining American democracy by ensuring that future generations are fully prepared to function as informed citizens who value freedom and democracy in a civil society; and
WHEREAS, A healthy public education system is best served by principles of local democratically elected officials who serve the public interest through open and transparent use of public tax dollars; and
WHEREAS, It is the civic mission of the state’s schools to prepare all young people to be informed, responsible, and actively engaged in civic life; and
WHEREAS, The Pledge for Democracy comprises five major tenets that promote an ethos of: Important elements of participation in a democratic society include: (1) transparency and accountability; (2) civic engagement for all students and community members, including parents and families; (3) college, community, and local business collaboration; (4) diversity, inclusiveness, and equity; and (5) compassion, kindness, and wellness; and
WHEREAS, Communities elect school board officials who must account for the well-being and progress of the school district’s children and oversee the administration of public funds adhering to principles of accountability and transparency; and
WHEREAS, Civic engagement combines values of inclusion, participation, transparency, accountability, and local knowledge; and
WHEREAS, Civic engagement comprises processes and practices that foster student voice, civil dialogue, mutual understanding, creativity, critical thinking, and collective problem solving, while respecting individual autonomy and difference; and
WHEREAS, Effective civic participation comprises the Six Proven Practices for Effective Civic Learning that includes: (1) classroom instruction in government, history, and economics; (2) civic-based service learning aligned to the curriculum; (3) simulations of democratic processes; (4) extracurricular civic projects; (5) student participation in setting school policy; and (6) civil discourse about important current events; and
WHEREAS, The Legislature is encouraging youth to be more engaged by revitalizing civic learning and participation in California through the State Seal of Civic Engagement, which allows students who develop a deeper understanding of civics through active engagement in their communities to receive an insignia on their high school diplomas; and
WHEREAS, School districts are required to develop a local control and accountability plan, a local participatory budgeting practice designed to foster inclusive democratic practices in prioritizing school district spending; and
WHEREAS, By forging intentional community partnerships, schools will strengthen their academic and career readiness capacity, student health and well-being, restorative justice practices, engagement of students, parents, and families, and community stakeholders as a democratic ecosystem; and
WHEREAS, A community that is engaged in the school promotes a school climate that is safe, kind, inclusive, and respectful, connects students to a broader learning community, including higher education, business, and nonprofit partners, and will help develop an informed, ethical, and educated citizenry, strengthen family and community ties, and nurture democracy in the 21st century; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Assembly of the State of California, the Senate thereof concurring, That the Legislature endorses the Pledge for Democracy Through Our Public Schools activities in public schools that instruct pupils in upholding and sustaining American democracy as an affirmation of the social contract binding our hopes for the future potential of young people to advance our shared prosperity, tranquility, and liberty; and be it further
Resolved, That the Legislature encourages, in the strongest terms, California schools to pursue recognized designations that reflect the ethos and values described in this resolution, such as California Democracy School Civic Learning Initiatives, the California State Seal of Civic Engagement, and the California Civic Learning Awards; and be it further

Resolved, That the Legislature encourages all Californians to commit themselves to ensure implementation of the Pledge for Democracy Through Our Public Schools through their respective capacities as stakeholders and defenders of American democracy; and be it further

Resolved, That publicly elected officials are encouraged to conduct themselves in ways that protect, maintain, and enhance the shared common good among the American people, and prioritize the equity, excellence, public accountability, and transparency of public schools and their administration by officials elected by the people in order to strengthen civic engagement and participation in civil society; and be it further
Resolved, That the Chief Clerk of the Assembly transmit copies of this resolution to the author for appropriate distribution.