Bar News - July 15, 2015
Morning Mail: We, the People, Need to Fund Civic Education
Editorís Note: The following letter referencing the NH Bar Association-sponsored We the People program for New Hampshire high school students was first published in the June 19 issue of the Nashua Telegraph.
Our New Hampshire Congressional delegates should support high school civic education. There have been no federal funds specifically directed toward civic education since 2010. The Center for Civic Education is currently gathering the support of US House Members for its SEED grant application to the US Department of Education for funds to support its We the People program, among other civic education initiatives.
We the People: the Citizen and Constitutional promotes civic competence and responsibility to students in secondary schools across the nation. Students study our government functions and constitutional principles during the fall semester. They then participate in a statewide competition at the State House Annex in Concord. At these mock Congressional hearings, students present compelling testimony reflecting their command of constitutional law, and they apply these principles to current issues surrounding free speech, the right to privacy, and the rights of the accused in criminal proceedings, among other challenging questions debated across our country.
In New Hampshire, we take great pride in our civic engagement and political knowledge. Continued support for civic education is essential to keeping our electorate informed and engaged. We the People is one of many impactful programs that will ensure that future generations continue to actively participate in our democracy.
I have had the opportunity to judge both the state competition in Concord and the national competition in Virginia. These students have an impressive grasp of complex constitutional and political matters.
If our Congressional delegation signs onto this bipartisan letter of support, it will help the Center for Civic Education obtain the grant money necessary to further develop and expand these integral civic education programs for young people in New Hampshire and across our nation.