This Act requires a school district or charter school serving high school students to provide instruction in comparative political ideology in grade 10. The instruction must include a comparative discussion of political ideologies, including communism and totalitarianism, which conflict with the principles of freedom and democracy essential to the founding principles of the United States. The purpose of this instruction is to do all of the following: (1) Explore various political ideologies, including communism and totalitarianism. (2) Highlight the conflict other political ideologies have with the founding principles of the United States. (3) Prepare students to be responsible citizens in a free democracy. (4) Develop a recognition of and acceptance for the responsibility for preserving and defending the blessings of liberty inherited from prior generations and secured by the United States Constitution. (5) Reaffirm the commitment to freedom and democracy essential to the founding principles of the United States. This Act requires the Department of Education (“Department”) to make resources available to school districts and charter schools to assist them in providing the required instruction. Additionally, the Department is required to curate and make publicly available oral history resources, to be used along with the required instruction, that provide the personal stories of diverse individuals who demonstrate civic-minded qualities, including first-person accounts of victims of other nations’ governing philosophies who can compare those philosophies with those of the United States. This Act requires each school district or charter school to designate an individual responsible for overseeing the implementation of the instruction required under this Act. The designated individual is to report to the Department each year regarding how the required instruction has been implemented by that individual’s school district or charter school. The Department is to report each year to the Governor and General Assembly. The implementation of this Act is delayed until the 2023 through 2024 school year to give school districts and charter schools time to develop the instruction required under this Act and the Department time to curate and provide the required oral history resources.
Senate Bill 341
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