Civics Legislation Caught in Debate Over Race in Education
The lesson today, class, is how to turn bipartisan legislation encouraging teaching of civics into an ideological food fight.
The legislation in question seemed noncontroversial at first, even boring. It would authorize $1 billion a year in grants to pay for more civics education. The goal was to better balance a test-driven K-12 education system that focuses heavily on math and reading with a subject — civics — that has gotten less attention and far less money in recent years.
Civics is critical, backers say, to maintaining a functioning democracy.
But in recent days this bipartisan measure has run into a force more powerful than a schoolhouse rock. Conservative media and activists are pelting the Republicans who support the bill to abandon it. They call the grant program a “Trojan horse” that would allow the Biden administration to push a liberal agenda.
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