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

00 Enrolled SCR 1                                                                                                          
01 Relating to a legislative task force on civics education.                                                               
02                                         _______________                                                                 
03 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA:                                                             
04      WHEREAS research shows that one of the most significant ways schools can foster                                  
05 youth civic engagement is by providing students with opportunities to engage in reflective                              
06 civic action through their classes and cocurricular and extracurricular activities; and                                 
07      WHEREAS, rather than providing a single course in civics, educators should provide                             
08 civics learning activities from preschool through college, informed by best practices that                              
09 develop civics knowledge based on an understanding of the values of the nation's founders as                            
10 revealed in the nation's founding documents, including knowledge of our system of                                       
11 government and how it works, and civics skills, including intellectual and participatory skills                         
12 necessary for an active civic life; and                                                                                 
13      WHEREAS opportunities for students to engage in real-world learning activities can                               
14 enhance the civic development of students and provide authentic learning experiences; and                               
15      WHEREAS research suggests that educators who include in their pedagogy a                                         
16 component of civil service opportunities may better help students achieve greater levels of                             
17 academic success and increased motivation; and                                                                          
01      WHEREAS the state can help encourage schools to provide civil service                                            
02 opportunities for all students in a manner that complements the standards that schools set and                          
03 the assessments and accountability measures the state chooses;                                                          
04      BE IT RESOLVED by the Alaska State Legislature that the Task Force on Civics                                     
05 Education be established as a joint task force of the Alaska State Legislature for the purpose                          
06 of studying the current state of civics education and making recommendations for the                                    
07 improvement of civics education for students in the state; and be it                                                    
08      FURTHER RESOLVED that the duties of the task force include                                                       
09           (1)  analyzing the current state of civics education in the state;                                            
10               (2)  analyzing current civics education laws in other jurisdictions;                                      
11           (3)  identifying best practices in civics education in other jurisdictions;                                   
12           (4)  studying and making recommendations about how to increase and improve                                    
13 civics education in kindergarten through grade 12 in public schools in the state;                                       
14           (5) evaluating the merits of and implementation requirements for requiring                                    
15 high school seniors to take and pass the civics portion of the naturalization test used by the                          
16 United States Citizenship and Immigration Services under 8 U.S.C. 1446(b) as a prerequisite                             
17 for graduating from high school;                                                                                        
18           (6) reviewing the merits of and considering options for implementing the                                      
19 Every Student Succeeds Act, P. L. No. 114-95 (2015), as it pertains to civics education in the                          
20 state;                                                                                                                  
21           (7)  making recommendations to the legislature relating to substantially                                      
22 increasing civics literacy and the capacity of youth to obtain the requisite knowledge and                              
23 skills to be civically informed members of the public;                                                                  
24           (8)  making funding recommendations related to the task force's                                               
25 recommendations to the legislature;                                                                                     
26           (9)  submitting a report to the secretary of the senate and the chief clerk of the                            
27 house of representatives by January 19, 2017, summarizing the findings and recommendations                              
28 of the task force and notifying the members of the legislature that the report is available; and                        
29 be it                                                                                                                   
30              FURTHER RESOLVED that the task force consist of 12 members as follows:                                   
31           (1)  three members of the house of representatives appointed by the speaker of                                
01 the house of representatives, including one member of the minority organizational caucus;                               
02           (2)  three members of the senate appointed by the president of the senate,                                    
03 including one member of the minority organizational caucus;                                                             
04           (3)  the commissioner of education and early development or the                                               
05 commissioner's designee;                                                                                                
06           (4)  five members of the public appointed jointly by the speaker of the house of                              
07 representatives and the president of the senate as follows:                                                             
08                (A)  one active or retired high school teacher with significant teaching                                 
09      experience in civics or social studies education in the state;                                                     
10                (B)  one member representing the Association of Alaska School                                            
11      Boards;                                                                                                            
12                (C)  one member who is a student enrolled in good standing in a public                                   
13      high school in the state who will be a senior in the school on the date of the first                               
14      meeting of the task force; the student must demonstrate an interest in civics education                            
15      and leadership;                                                                                                    
16                (D)  one member who is a judge or otherwise represents the judicial                                      
17      branch of state government;                                                                                        
18                (E)  one member representing the University of Alaska; and be it                                         
19      FURTHER RESOLVED that                                                                                            
20           (1)  the speaker of the house of representatives and the president of the senate                              
21 jointly appoint the chair of the task force from among the legislative members of the task                              
22 force;                                                                                                                  
23           (2)  a majority of the task force constitute a quorum;                                                        
24           (3)  a vacancy on the task force be filled in the same manner as the original                                 
25 selection or appointment;                                                                                               
26           (4)  the task force meet at the call of the chair;                                                            
27           (5)  the task force may request data and other information from the Department                                
28 of Education and Early Development, school districts, and other state agencies; and be it                               
29      FURTHER RESOLVED that the staff of the legislator who chairs the task force                                      
30 provide administrative and other support to the task force; and be it                                                   
31      FURTHER RESOLVED that members of the task force serve without compensation                                       
01 but be entitled to per diem and travel expenses authorized for boards and commissions under                             
02 AS 39.20.180; and be it                                                                                                 
03      FURTHER RESOLVED that the task force expires on June 30, 2017.