HB 30: "An Act requiring school districts to develop and require completion of a history of American constitutionalism curriculum segment; and providing for an effective date."
00 HOUSE BILL NO. 30 01 "An Act requiring school districts to develop and require completion of a history of 02 American constitutionalism curriculum segment; and providing for an effective date." 03 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 04 * Section 1. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section 05 to read: 06 SHORT TITLE. This Act may be known as the American Constitutionalism History 07 Literacy Act. 08 * Sec. 2. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to 09 read: 10 LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS. The legislature finds that 11 (1) the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of 12 Confederation, the Constitution of the United States, and the Bill of Rights were seminal 13 events in the history of the United States of America; 14 (2) American constitutionalism represents this country's greatest gift to human
01 freedom; its ideals, ideas, and institutions have influenced different people in different lands 02 at different times; 03 (3) an early understanding of American constitutionalism empowers students 04 to make rational, evidence-based decisions regarding their civic judgments, rights, and duties; 05 (4) a number of historical written documents that appeared over a span of 15 06 years continue to serve to define our national identity and our constitutional republic form of 07 government: the Declaration of Independence, the first state constitutions, the Articles of 08 Confederation, the Constitution of the United States, the Federalist Papers, and the Bill of 09 Rights; a general understanding of the philosophies and historical contexts that generated 10 those documents is an essential element in the education of Alaska students; 11 (5) the Citizen's Advisory Task Force on Civics Education Policy, in its report 12 dated January 2008, made a strong case for improving civics education; this Act should be 13 applied in the context of school district response to the recommendations in the report. 14 * Sec. 3. AS 14.14 is amended by adding a new section to read: 15 Sec. 14.14.095. Secondary school requirement; history of American 16 constitutionalism. (a) The chief school administrator of a school district shall develop 17 and submit to the governing body of a school district for approval a syllabus for a 18 curriculum segment in the history of American constitutionalism to be taught to all 19 students enrolled in the district. An approved syllabus must ensure a student's 20 understanding of the history of American constitutionalism as portrayed in the 21 Declaration of Independence, the first state constitutions, the Articles of 22 Confederation, the Constitution of the United States, the Federalist Papers, the Bill of 23 Rights, and other historical documents produced in the founding of our constitutional 24 republic model of government. 25 (b) A district may not issue a secondary school diploma to a student who does 26 not successfully complete the course in which the curriculum segment described in (a) 27 of this section is contained. A school district may not grant a waiver of this 28 requirement. 29 (c) In this section, "district" has the meaning given in AS 14.17.990. 30 * Sec. 4. This Act takes effect July 1, 2015.