Bill to Provide $1 Billion in Support of K-12 History & Civics Education Introduced

Senators Chris Coons (D-DE) and John Cornyn (R-TX) have introduced the “Educating for Democracy Act of 2020.” It is the companion bill to one introduced in September by Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Congressman Tom Cole (R-OK) which will significantly increase federal financial support for history and civics education. Click here to see a summary of the bill.

The legislation authorizes $1 billion in spending each year over the next five fiscal years for grants to states, non-profits, institutions of higher education and researchers. The measure establishes new grant programs for state and local education agencies to strengthen and improve their approach to civic and history education. The bill provides funding for non-profit entities to develop or expand access to evidence-based curricula, instructional models, and other educational programs to enhance student knowledge and achievement in civics and history. Grants would be provided to higher education institutions to assist in developing and implementing programs to train elementary and secondary school teachers in methods for instructing and engaging students in civics and history.

We have a legislative alert posted on the National Humanities Alliance’s legislative advocacy website that allows you to send a pre-written letter to your two U.S. Senators. The system allows you to edit and personalize the letter. Here is the link:

While neither bill will be considered this year, they will both be introduced when the new Congress convenes in January. We are urging you to contact your senators now to lay the groundwork for next year’s advocacy efforts.

Alternatively, you can contact your U.S. Senator’s office the following ways:

  1. Call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask for your Senator’s office. Once connected ask to speak to whomever handles education issues for the Senator (you may have to leave a voicemail). Ask that staffer to ask the Senator to co-sponsor the “Educating for Democracy Act,” introduced by Senator Coons and Senator Cornyn, that seeks to improve American history and civics education in our nation’s schools. Offer to send the staff member the summary of the bill via email.
  2. Email your U.S. Senators by visiting and use the alphabetical list, to go to the Senator’s website, where you will find a link to leave comments. Sending regular mail is discouraged because all mail to Congress must undergo security screening and most staffers are working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic.