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29th Legislature(2015-2016)

Bill Text 29th Legislature


00                       CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 30(EDC)                                                                     
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.                                                                                     
28            (c)  In this section, "district" has the meaning given in AS 14.17.990.                                      
29    * Sec. 4. This Act takes effect July 1, 2015.                                                                      
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