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22-1-104. Teaching of history, culture, and civil government.

Text

 

(1) (a) The history and civil government of the United States and of the state of Colorado, which includes the history, culture, and social contributions of minorities, including but not limited to American Indians, Latinos, African Americans, and Asian Americans, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals within these minority groups, and the intersectionality of significant social and cultural features within these communities, and the contributions and persecution of religious minorities, must be taught in all the public schools of the state.

(b) In addition to the requirements specified in subsection (1)(a) of this section, courses for teaching the civil government of the United States and of the state of Colorado must include instruction on:

(I) The three branches of government and how they interact; an understanding of how laws are enacted at the federal, state, and local government levels; and the methods by which citizens shape and influence government and governmental actions;

(II) The formation and development of the governments of the United States and the state of Colorado using federal and state foundational documents and the significance and relevance of those foundational documents in modern society. At a minimum, this instruction must include:

(A) The historical and modern significance of the declaration of independence;

(B) How the United States constitution establishes the federal government and the characteristics of the republic that it creates;

(C) How the Colorado constitution establishes the state government and its relationship to local governments in the state;

(D) How the United States constitution with the bill of rights and the state bill of rights in article II of the state constitution are applicable in modern society;

(E) How the United States constitution is amended and the changes that have been made to it since 1787;

(F) How the Colorado constitution is amended and the changes that have been made to it since 1876;

(G) How other foundational documents of the United States and Colorado, including landmark United States supreme court decisions and significant Colorado supreme court decisions, aided in the formation and have subsequently affected the development of the United States and Colorado governments; and

(H) How to engage with federal, state, and local governments and how to engage with public officials.

(c) Notwithstanding the requirement in section 22-7-1005 (6) to review the preschool through elementary and secondary education standards every six years, as soon as is practicable after the effective date of this subsection (1)(c), the state board of education shall review the civics portion of the social studies standards and revise them as necessary to comply with the requirements of subsection (1)(b) of this section. The state board of education shall take into consideration any recommendations of the history, culture, social contributions, and civil government in education commission established in section 22-1-104.3 in reviewing the civics standards pursuant to this subsection (1)(c).

(d) Each public school and school district is encouraged to partner with local service organizations to solicit donations to improve the quality of the civics education program that the public school or school district provides. Donations may be used to pay the cost of developing a high-quality curriculum, inviting speakers to interact with students, and providing students with opportunities for civics learning and engagement outside of the classroom.

(2) Satisfactory completion of a course on the civil government of the United States and the state of Colorado, including the subjects described in subsection (1) of this section, is a condition of high school graduation in the public schools of this state.

 

(3) (a) In an effort to increase civic participation among young people, each school district board of education shall convene a community forum on a periodic basis, but not less than once every six years, for all interested persons to discuss adopted content standards in civics, including the subjects described in subsection (1) of this section. The history, culture, social contributions, and civil government in education commission established in section 22-1-104.3 shall actively participate in any such forums.

(b) Based upon input from this community forum, each school district board of education shall determine how the subject areas specified in subsection (1) of this section are addressed when establishing graduation requirements.

 

(4) (a) In an effort to strengthen the teaching of the history, culture, social contributions, and civil government of the state of Colorado and of the United States in all public schools of the state in accordance with the requirements of this section, the department of education, in conjunction with the history, culture, social contributions, and civil government in education commission established in section 22-1-104.3, shall assist the school districts of the state in developing and promoting programs for elementary and secondary students that engage the students in the process of discovery and interpretation of the subjects and topics set forth in subsection (1) of this section.

(b) The department of education is authorized to accept gifts, grants, and donations in furtherance of the objectives specified in subsection (4)(a) of this section.

(c) It is the intent of the general assembly that the objectives specified in subsection (4)(a) of this section are funded through the state education fund created in section 17 (4) of article IX of the state constitution. The general assembly hereby finds that the development, promotion, and maintenance by the school districts of the state of programs for elementary and secondary students that engage such students in the process of discovery and interpretation of the subjects and topics set forth in subsection (1) of this section assist these students in meeting state academic standards and may therefore be funded from money in the state education fund.

 

(5) (a) In an effort to strengthen the teaching of history, culture, social contributions, and civil government, as described in subsection (1) of this section, in all public schools of the state in accordance with the requirements of this section, the department of education, in conjunction with the history, culture, social contributions, and civil government in education commission established in section 22-1-104.3, shall assist the school districts of the state in developing and promoting programs for elementary and secondary students that address the state model content standards for history and civics and promote best practices while also addressing the subjects and topics described in subsection (1) of this section.

(b) It is the intent of the general assembly that the objectives specified in this subsection (5) are funded through the state education fund created in section 17 (4) of article IX of the state constitution. The general assembly hereby finds that the development, promotion, and maintenance by the school districts of the state of programs for elementary and secondary students that address the state model content standards for history and civics and promote best practices while addressing the subjects and topics described in subsection (1) of this section assist these students in meeting state academic standards and may therefore be funded from money in the state education fund.

(6) The state board of education shall take into consideration any recommendations of the history, culture, social contributions, and civil government in education commission established in section 22-1-104.3 when performing its six-year review of the states education standards pursuant to section 22-7-1005 (6).

History

History.
Source: L. 21: P. 728, 1.C.L. 8498.CSA: C. 146, 292.CRS 53: 123-21-4.C.R.S. 1963: 123-21-4. L. 69: P. 1022, 2. L. 98: (2) amended, p. 328, 1, effective April 17. L. 2003: (3) and (4) added, p. 1228, 1, effective August 6. L. 2004: (5) added, p. 875, 2, effective May 21. L. 2005: (6) added, p. 438, 14, effective April 29. L. 2015: (4)(a) amended,(HB 15-1323), ch. 204, p. 719, 17, effective May 20. L. 2019: Entire section amended,(HB 19-1192), ch. 302, p. 2773, 1, effective May 28. L. 2021: (1) amended,(SB 21-067), ch. 98, p. 393, 3, effective September 7.

Annotations

Cross references:

(1) For the legislative declaration contained in the 2004 act enacting subsection (5), see section 1 of chapter 251, Session Laws of Colorado 2004.

(2) For the short title (Senator Lois Court Civics Act of 2021) and the legislative declaration in SB 21-067, see sections 1 and 2 of chapter 98, Session Laws of Colorado 2021.