BOISE– Idaho today became the fifth state, after Arizona, North Dakota, South Dakota and Utah, to pass legislation to implement the Civics Education Initiative, joining a growing nationwide effort to ensure every U.S. high school graduate has the basic tools they need to become informed, engaged citizens. The Utah bill requires high school students to pass the U.S. Citizenship Test – the same test immigrants must pass to become U.S. citizens – as a graduation requirement. It was sponsored by the Arizona-based Joe Foss Institute and its Idaho-based partners.
With passage now in five states, momentum for this effort is clearly building. Every high school student should be able to demonstrate factual knowledge of the democratic principles on which our country is founded, and from which our basic freedoms and rights as Americans flow. Those freedoms and rights, which our men and women in uniform have defended and preserved since our country’s founding, are what unite us as Americans. The Joe Foss institute is dedicated to ensuring our students graduate high school ready, willing and able to take on the serious responsibilities of citizenship.”
We at the Joe Foss Institute congratulate and thank our Idaho partners on the passage of the legislation, especially Senator Jim Patrick (R-Twin Falls), Representative Terry Gestrin (R-Donnelly) and Representative Ilana Rubel (D-Boise).
The leadership of the Joe Foss Institute and its affiliate, the Civics Proficiency Institute, also thanked the many bipartisan sponsors of the Idaho legislation: Senator Sheryl Nuxoll, Senator Mary Souza, Senator Chuck Winder, Senator Marv Hagedorn, Senator Dean Mortimer, Senator Steve Vick, Representative Ronald Nate, Representative Jeff Thompson, Representative Steven Harris, Representative Judy Boyle, Representative Richard Wills, Representative Clark Kauffman, Representative Stephen Hartgen, Representative Ryan Kerby, Representative Ron Mendive, Representative Heather Scott, Representative Don Cheatham, Representative Sage Dixon, Representative Steven Miller, Representative Reed DeMordaunt, Representative Lance Clow, Representative Mike Moyle, Representative Brent Crane, and Representative Paul Shepherd.
In addition to Idaho, Utah, Arizona, North Dakota and South Dakota, legislation to advance the Civics Education Initiative has been introduced in 17 other states. The Joe Foss Institute created and launched the Civics Education Initiative in 2014, with a goal of passing legislation in all 50 states by the 230th anniversary of the signing of the Constitution on September 17, 2017.