In December, President Obama signed into law a bill to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The “Every Student Succeeds Act” restored funding for K-12 history and civics education that was eliminated five years ago. Unfortunately, when the President’s budget request was released on February 9 it did not include appropriations for the major new program source of funding for history and civics.
Left unfunded was a competitive grant program for non-profit organizations to develop and disseminate innovative approaches to provide high quality instruction in American history and civics for under-served students.
Representatives Ross (R-FL) and Graham (D-FL) have circulated a “Dear Colleague” letter to all Members of the House of Representatives, inviting them to sign a letter to the House Appropriations Committee asking for funds for these competitive grants.
The National Coalition for History (NCH) urgently needs you to contact your representative and ask him or her to sign the Ross/Graham “Dear Colleague” letter supporting funding for history and civics education. Click here to see a copy of the letter.
How to Contact Your Representative
Please call or email your House member’s office and urge them to support federal funding for history and civics education. To contact your representative, you can use one of these two options. No matter which means of communication you choose, please personalize your message as to your background or interest in history. If you are employed in the education field, especially as a K-12 teacher, mention the institution where you work in your congressional district.
Make a phone call. All Members of Congress can be reached through the U.S. Capitol switchboard at (202)225-3121. If you feel comfortable doing so, a personal phone call is preferable to an email. If you are not sure who your Representative is you can follow this link to the House’s website. (http://www.house.gov) Then enter your zip code which will provide a link to your Member’s website. Ask the receptionist for the name of the staffer who handles education funding. Then ask to leave a voice mail, or for the email address of that staffer.
- Message: Representatives Ross (R-FL) and Graham (D-FL) have circulated a “Dear Colleague” letter to be sent to the House Appropriations Committee requesting funds for K-12 history and civics grants at the U.S. Department of Education. These new grants were authorized under the “Every Student Succeeds Act” enacted in December. The future health of our democracy depends on the quality of instruction today’s students receive in these subjects. I urge you to support this bi-partisan effort by signing on to the Ross/Graham “Dear Colleague” letter to promote the teaching of Traditional American History and civics by funding these programs.
Send an email. NCH, working with our colleagues at the National Humanities Alliance, has prepared a one-step link to your House member (click here). You simply enter your address and the system identifies your representative. We’ve provided an email template that can be edited to personalize your message. The message not only goes to your Member’s email, but their Twitter account and Facebook page as well.