2007 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Hewes, Gollott
AN ACT TO CREATE THE MISSISSIPPI CIVIC LITERACY ACT; TO REQUIRE THE TEACHING OF THE NATION'S FOUNDING AND RELATED DOCUMENTS DURING THE HIGH SCHOOL YEARS; TO REQUIRE THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION TO SUBMIT AN ANNUAL REPORT TO THE GOVERNOR AND LEGISLATURE ON THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE CURRICULUM ON CIVIC LITERACY; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. This act may be cited as the Mississippi Civic Literacy Act.
SECTION 2. The Legislature finds and declares that:
(a) The adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and the signing of the United States Constitution were principal events in the history of the United States, the Declaration of Independence providing the philosophical foundation on which this nation rests and the Constitution of the United States providing its structure of government;
(b) The Federalist Papers embody the most eloquent and forceful argument made in support of the adoption of our republican form of government;
(c) The Emancipation Proclamation issued by President Abraham Lincoln in 1862 clarified human rights during the crisis of the War Between the States;
(d) These documents stand as the foundation of our form of democracy, providing at the same time the basis of our national identity and the vehicle for orderly growth and change;
(e) Many Americans lack even the most basic knowledge and understanding of the history of our nation and the principles set forth in the Declaration of Independence, codified in the Constitution and defended in the Federalist Papers and the Emancipation Proclamation; and
(f) The survival of the Republic requires that our nation's children, the future guardians of its heritage and participants in its governance, have a firm knowledge and understanding of its principles and history.
SECTION 3. The purpose and intent of this act are to require during the high school years the teaching of the nation's founding and related documents, which shall include the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution, the Federalist Papers and the Emancipation Proclamation of 1862.
SECTION 4. The State Department of Education shall develop and report to the Education Committees of the Senate and House of Representatives which specifically describes the civic literacy curriculum content and teacher training to ensure that the intent of this legislation is satisfied.
SECTION 5. Beginning with the 2009 Regular Session, the State Department of Education shall submit an annual report to the Governor and the Legislature describing the effectiveness of these civic literacy courses involved pursuant to Sections 3 and 4 of this act.
SECTION 6. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2007.