STATE OF NEW JERSEY
PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2018 SESSION
Assemblywoman JOANN DOWNEY
District 11 (Monmouth)
Requires course in civics or U.S. government as part of high school graduation requirements; requires school districts to use DOE’s curriculum guidelines for civics.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel.
An Act concerning civics and government instruction in high school, amending P.L.1987, c.425, and supplementing chapter 7C of Title 18A of the New Jersey Statutes.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. Section 1 of P.L.1987, c.425 (C.18A:35-2.1) is amended to read as follows:
1. The State Department of Education shall prepare curriculum guidelines for the teaching of civics which [may] shall be used by local school boards in fulfilling the requirements established pursuant to N.J.S.18A:35-1 and N.J.S.18A:35-2.
(cf: P.L.1987, c.425, s.1)
2. (New section) Beginning with the 2016-2017 grade nine class, the State Board of Education shall require that the local graduation requirements adopted by a board of education include, as part of the total credit requirement in social studies, at least one course in civics or United States government.
3. This act shall take effect immediately.
Under current State Board of Education regulations, high school students are required to complete at least 15 credits in social studies, including satisfaction of a two-year course in United States history in accordance with N.J.S.18A:35-1 and 2; five credits in world history; and the integration of civics, economics, geography and global content in all course offerings. This bill directs the State board to require at least one course specifically in civics or United States government as part of the social studies credit requirement for high school graduation. The requirement would begin with the 2016-2017 grade nine class.
The bill also amends current law to require, rather than permit, school districts to use the Department of Education’s curriculum guidelines for civics in fulfilling the requirements established by N.J.S.18A:35-1 and 2 for a two-year course of study in United States history.