NCSS Supports the Teaching Geography is Fundamental Act
NCSS was recently contacted by the National Geographic Society regarding the Teaching Geography is Fundamental Act, HR 1228. This is a bill that NCSS has promoted on Capitol Hill and for which NCSS has helped secure many co-sponsors. The act would ensure federal support for geography comparable to the eight other core academic subjects identified by the No Child Left Behind Act. Social studies teachers will benefit from enactment of this legislation, and NCSS supports its passage. It should be noted, however, that NCSS met with the NGS and Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS) when the legislation was first introduced to express a desire to explicitly add "social studies teachers" to the bill's language to clarify that these are the educators charged with teaching geography. NCSS feels that this change would acknowledge that fact and clarify the eligibility of social studies teachers--its members--for the funds that would be provided under the proposed legislation. Both the NGS and Senator Cochran rejected that amendment, but this fact did not deter NCSS from supporting the legislation.
The lead proponent of HR 1228 in the House of Representatives is Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-MD). NCSS went on record with the suggestion that “social studies teachers” be added to the bill with Congressman Van Hollen and again were told that his office was not willing to accept the amendment. NCSS was asked to send Congressman Van Hollen a letter of support for the bill, which NCSS was pleased provide. He and his staff understand why NCSS asked for the amendment and are clear that even without the change, NCSS supports enactment of the legislation. To make sure NCSS members are fully informed about this issue the letter sent to Congressman Van Hollen is available here.
For more information on the Teaching Geography is Fundamental Act and what you can do to help, see: