Obama Administration Proposes Changes in Department of Education’s Civics Programs

In its Fiscal Year 2010 Department of Education budget request to Congress, the Obama administration proposes the elimination of three programs that support activities related to civic education. The Administration would replace these programs with a new $37 million competitive grant program under the Fund for the Improvement of Education that would be targeted toward civic education.

The Administration proposes to eliminate the following three programs:

  • Civic Education ($38 million): Provides several non-competitive grants to organizations that promote civic responsibility through teacher training and instructional materials.
  • Close-Up Fellowships ($2 Million): Provides a non-competitive grant to the Close-Up Foundation to provide fellowships to students and their teachers to finance their participation in one-week Washington, D.C. seminar programs on American government.
  • Academies for American History and Civics ($2 million): The program supports workshops for teachers and students in the areas of history and civics. The Budget stated, “Academies for American History and Civics program is considered to be too small to leverage funding effectively. In 2008, for example, only 256 students and teachers participated in the program.”

The Administration stated those school districts and other entities that wish to implement history and civics training programs can use funds provided under other Federal programs such as the Teaching American History Grants and the Teacher Quality State Grants programs.

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