SCR 1: Relating to a legislative task force on civics education.

00                    SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 1                                                                   
01 Relating to a legislative task force on civics education.                                                               
02 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA:                                                               
03       WHEREAS research shows that one of the most significant ways schools can foster                                 
04 youth civic engagement is by providing students with opportunities to engage in reflective                              
05 civic action through their classes and cocurricular and extracurricular activities; and                                 
06       WHEREAS, rather than providing a single course in civics, educators should provide                            
07 civics learning activities from preschool through college, informed by best practices that                              
08 develop civics knowledge, including knowledge of our system of government and how it                                    
09 works, and civics skills, including intellectual and participatory skills necessary for an active                       
10 civic life; and                                                                                                         
11       WHEREAS opportunities for students to engage in real-world learning activities can                              
12 enhance the civic development of students and provide authentic learning experiences; and                               
13       WHEREAS research suggests that educators who include in their pedagogy a                                        
14 component of civil service opportunities may better help students achieve greater levels of                             
15 academic success and increased motivation; and                                                                          
16       WHEREAS the state can help ensure that schools provide civil service opportunities                              
01 for all students through the standards that schools set and the assessments and accountability                          
02 measures the state chooses;                                                                                             
03       BE IT RESOLVED by the Alaska State Legislature that the Task Force on Civics                                    
04 Education is established as a joint task force of the Alaska State Legislature for the purpose of                       
05 studying the current state of civics education and making recommendations for the                                       
06 improvement of civics education for students in the state; and be it                                                    
07       FURTHER RESOLVED that the duties of the task force include                                                      
08            (1)  analyzing the current state of civics education in the state;                                           
09            (2)  analyzing current civics education laws in other jurisdictions;                                         
10            (3)  identifying best practices in civics education in other jurisdictions;                                  
11            (4)  studying and making recommendations about how to increase and improve                                   
12 civics education in kindergarten through grade 12 in public schools in the state;                                       
13            (5)  making recommendations to the legislature relating to substantially                                     
14 increasing civics literacy and the capacity of youth to obtain the requisite knowledge and                              
15 skills to be civically informed members of the public;                                                                  
16            (6)  making funding recommendations related to the task force's                                              
17 recommendations to the legislature;                                                                                     
18            (7)  submitting a report to the secretary of the senate and the chief clerk of the                           
19 house of representatives by January 19, 2016, summarizing the findings and recommendations                              
20 of the task force and notifying the members of the legislature that the report is available; and                        
21 be it                                                                                                                   
22       FURTHER RESOLVED that the task force consists of 11 members as follows:                                         
23            (1)  two members of the house of representatives appointed by the speaker of                                 
24 the house of representatives;                                                                                           
25            (2)  two members of the senate appointed by the president of the senate;                                     
26            (3)  the commissioner of education and early development or the                                              
27 commissioner's designee;                                                                                                
28            (4)  six members of the public appointed jointly by the speaker of the house of                              
29 representatives and the president of the senate as follows:                                                             
30                 (A)  one member of the National Education Association;                                                  
31                 (B)  one member representing the Association of Alaska School                                           
01       Boards;                                                                                                           
02                 (C)  one member representing the media;                                                                 
03                 (D)  one member representing a nonprofit organization in the state with                                 
04       civics education as part of its core mission;                                                                     
05                 (E)  one member representing the University of Alaska;                                                  
06                 (F)  one member representing the Alaska Council of School                                               
07       Administrators; and be it                                                                                         
08       FURTHER RESOLVED that                                                                                           
09            (1)  the speaker of the house of representatives and the president of the senate                             
10 shall jointly appoint the chair of the task force from among the legislative members of the task                        
11 force;                                                                                                                  
12            (2)  a majority of the task force constitutes a quorum; a vacancy on the task                                
13 force shall be filled in the same manner as the original selection or appointment;                                      
14            (3)  the task force shall meet at the call of the chair;                                                     
15            (4)  the task force may request data and other information from the Department                               
16 of Education and Early Development, school districts, and other state agencies; and be it                               
17       FURTHER RESOLVED that the staff of the legislator who chairs the task force shall                               
18 provide administrative and other support to the task force; and be it                                                   
19       FURTHER RESOLVED that members of the task force serve without compensation                                      
20 but are entitled to per diem and travel expenses authorized for boards and commissions under                            
21 AS 39.20.180; and be it                                                                                                 
22       FURTHER RESOLVED that the task force expires on June 30, 2016.