DENVER – Senate Bill 21-067 moved forward in the legislative process after passing the Colorado Senate Education Committee in a near-unanimous vote this afternoon. The bill, sponsored by Senator Don Coram (R-Montrose), would establish curriculum standards for Colorado schools regarding civics education.
“Our future leaders are graduating from high school without a basic understanding of our democratic republic,” said Senator Coram. “How can we expect to solve some of the toughest issues ahead of our nation when the next generation doesn’t even understand the difference between the Colorado State Senate and the United States Senate?”
The bipartisan bill specifically directs the State Board of Education to implement curricular standards on the three branches of government, the formation of government at the state and federal level, the significance of the Declaration of Independence, United States Constitution, and the Colorado Constitution, and landmark decisions of both the United States Supreme Court and the Colorado Supreme Court.
“I am very optimistic that this bill will find broad, bipartisan support once it reaches the floor of the Senate,” said Coram. “This bill will help prepare our students for a lifetime of civic engagement and participation. My only regret is that we haven’t pushed this sooner.”
According to the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Institute, only 19% of those under the age of 45 were able to pass a basic civics test. Of all tested, only 24% were aware of why American colonists fought the British.
Senate Bill 67 now moves to the Senate floor for consideration.