We believe that civics education is most powerful and effective when it leads with student voice – and it’s this philosophy that runs through all of our Youth Civic Leadership programs. When young people see themselves reflected in their education, they are much more likely to be positively engaged.
That’s why we’re pleased to see the introduction of LB225 from State Sen. George Dungan of Lincoln. The bill would add a student representative to each Nebraska school district’s Committee on American Civics, which ensures that social studies curriculum provides foundational civic knowledge and aligns with state standards.
Each district committee is required to hold at least two public meetings annually and ensure that the district’s social studies curriculum is accessible to the public. It also assesses the district’s alignment with state social studies standards and teaches knowledge in “civics, history, economics, financial literacy, and geography.”
In addition, LB225 would enable students to meet high school civic education requirements by serving as poll workers. This new option would join a series of existing standards and activities, including taking a written test, attending and participating in public meetings, and writing papers and making presentations about what they have learned.
We like it – in addition to helping students understand our election processes, this bill would increase the number of poll workers at a time when election commissioners and county clerks are having trouble finding enough poll workers.
From our Youth Civic Leadership work, we know that students need every opportunity to develop the civic agency and confidence to vote, volunteer, attend public meetings, and engage with their communities.
We support LB225. You can keep tabs on this and several other bills that we are following with our Legislative Bill Tracker.