The United States Senate Appropriations Committee has voted to pass its funding bill for health and education programs for next year but once again, the bill included no federal support for teaching history, civics, geography or economics. It's not too late to show your support for funding teaching in the social studies.
The House subcommittee making decisions about education and health funding will consider its bill July 18. This gives us a short period of time to push legislators to include funding for the social studies in their version of the FY 2013 funding bill. But if we want to be successful, it is absolutely vital that Members of the House hear loud and clear from large numbers of constituents letting them know that funding for the social studies is a priority. Representatives can also cosponsor the Sandra Day O'Connor Civic Learning Act, which will send a message about the importance of funding innovative programs in civic education.
How you can help
So, what can you do? Take five minutes to make one important phone call. Then, ask your colleagues, friends, neighbors and family to do the same thing!
- If you don't know your Representative's name, go to www.house.gov  and look him or her up by entering your zip code.
- Call the DC office for your Representative at the number listed on the Member's website, or call the Capitol switchboard at (202) 225-3121 and ask to be connected to that Representative’s office.
- Ask whoever answers the phone in your Representative’s office to connect you to the Legislative Assistant who handles education issues.
- When you talk to the assistant (or leave a message) identify yourself as a constituent. Ask if your Representative would please do two things:
- Call Chairman Rehberg and ask for competitive grants for civics and for history in the
- Sign on as a cosponsor of H.R. 3464, The Sandra Day O’Connor Civic Learning Act.
History, civics, economics and geography is well represented in DC, and NCSS leadership has been working hard in concert with other organizations in our community to carry our wins in the Senate ESEA reauthorization bill over to the funding bill. But we need more voices, more boots on the ground. And we need them in a hurry. It us up to us to ensure that students are gaining the critical skills and knowledge required to be informed citizens in our deliberative democracy.