Below is our policy agenda for 2022 developed in conjunction with our constituent organizations. Click on the issue brief title for further information on the individual issues.
We support passage of the Civics Secures Democracy Act, which would provide $5 billion over the next five fiscal years to ensure that every K-12 student in America receives a high-quality history education.
We oppose the passage of so-called “divisive concepts” legislation by state legislatures. Such bills are designed to limit discussion about racism, sexism, and discrimination in the classroom and/or the workplace. They endanger the academic freedom essential to all classrooms, especially those where history is the focus of discussion and debate. According to Education Week, as of June 28, 2022, “Since January 2021, 42 states have introduced bills or taken other steps that would restrict teaching critical race theory or limit how teachers can discuss racism and sexism. . . Seventeen states have imposed these bans and restrictions either through legislation or other avenues.”
NCH belongs to the Learn from History Coalition. It is a coalition of parents, educators, and other concerned Americans who are working together to combat “divisive concepts” bills and to ensure that all children can learn accurate, thorough, and fact-based history in our schools. For additional information, we also recommend:
- The American Historical Association’s (AHA’s) “Teaching History with Integrity” initiative.
- “Reframing History,” Reframing History is the result of a two-year, deep-dive research effort to understand how Americans think about history and how our field can more effectively explain history’s value. It was funded by the Mellon Foundation and carried out in partnership with the FrameWorks Institute, American Association for State and Local History, National Council on Public History, and Organization of American Historians.
- American Association of University Professors (AAUP) Resource Page on “Educational Gag Orders.”
- AAUP FAQ’s on “Educational Gag Orders”.
- Pen America’s Free Expression and Education website.
- PEN America and the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) published a joint statement raising alarm about the recent spread of legislative restrictions on the freedom to learn and teach, calling attention to the grave threats these measures pose for shared governance, academic freedom, college and university accreditation, and the institutional autonomy enjoyed by colleges and universities nationwide.
- PEN America responds to 5 popular (but incorrect) myths about educational gag orders: https://pen.org/5-myths-about-
Archivist of the United States (AOTUS) David Ferriero retired in April 2022. NCH endorsed a statement to President Biden setting forth the background, characteristics and experience he should seek in selecting a replacement.
Through legislation, regulation, and adequate funding, ensure that the public has the greatest possible access to federal government records and information.
We urge Congress to reform and strengthen the Presidential Records Act. Effective enforcement measures, including appropriate penalties for noncompliance, are essential to establishing and maintaining sound record keeping practices.
We urge Congress to increase funding for the National Archives and Records Administration in Fiscal Year 2023.
We urge Congress to increase funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities in Fiscal Year 2023.
We urge Congress to increase funding for the National Historical Publications and Records Commission in Fiscal Year 2023.
We urge Congress to increase funding for the Institute of Museum and Library Services in Fiscal Year 2023.
Ensure that programs are under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service to educate our citizen’s about their nation’s history and preserve America’s historic sites, buildings, and artifacts have strong federal government support.
We urge Congress to increase funding for the Title VI/Fulbright-Hays International Education in Fiscal Year 2023.
We urge Congress to increase funding for the Library of Congress in Fiscal Year 2023.