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Dear NCSS Community,

Recently, we became aware of a new bill introduced in the United States Senate, S.2024, the USA Civics Act of 2019. This bill was introduced by U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-DE) and John Cornyn (R-TX). It is intended to update an American history and civics grant program under the Higher Education Act. Here are a few resources:

  • Senators Coons and Cornyn issued a press release summarizing the proposed legislation.
  • The complete bill text is found at

I am writing to urge you to contact the education aides of your U.S. Senators. Ask them to encourage your Senators to become co-sponsors of S.2024.

The National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) has signed onto a letter, organized by the Association of American Educators Foundation, sent to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and leaders in Congress calling for their help in addressing the lack of teacher diversity in our nation’s classrooms.

The recent release of the Trump Administration’s FY2020 budget request once again proposes deep cuts to programs affecting social studies educators nationwide. Of direct concern is the proposed elimination of the U.S. Department of Education’s K-12 American History & Civics Grants and Academies, currently funded at $4.8 million.

Our partners at the National Coalition for History summarized the impact across all history-based programs in the proposed FY2020 budget.

In addition, there are several other proposed cuts to programs which are important to teacher professional development and student achievement in the social studies. These are summarized in the U.S. Department of Education Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Summary (see page 49). Major programs to be aware of include:

NCSS International Assembly Logo

The International Assembly is a NCSS Associated Group that provides a forum for discussion of the international dimensions of the social studies. The IA is inviting social studies teachers, educators, and scholars to participate in its roundtable sessions at the 2019 NCSS Annual Conference in Austin, TX, on Friday, November 22, 2019. Four types of proposals are welcomed for submission:

National Council for the Social Studies has an excellent opportunity for a Digital Marketing Manager. You will use your creative marketing skills to help grow the organization working in a positive, professional environment. Come join our team!

This position will be responsible for maximizing membership recruitment, retention, and engagement through the successful formation and execution of digital communications and marketing strategies for NCSS, Rho Kappa National Social Studies Honor Society, and the NCSS Annual Conference. This position will also lead the production of digital communications resources to support NCSS, Rho Kappa, NCSS Publications, website management, social media, and NCSS branding in connection with the Director of Marketing and Membership.

August 5, 2019 to August 7, 2019

How do we discuss controversial topics? Often, it seems, we rely upon superficial research of the facts, intimidation, or appeals to emotion. Yet, democracy depends on citizens charitably and accurately engaging each other’s arguments.

Harvard University
Robinson Hall in Harvard Yard
35 Quincy St
Cambridge, MA 02138

1. What was your favorite take-away from our 98th Annual Conference in Chicago?

Mary Ellen: Earlier this fall, I was part of a conference put on by Dr. Diana Hess, the Dean of Education at the University of Wisconsin- Madison.  The conference t-shirts read, “Teach like our democracy depends on it - because it does.” The 98th Annual Conference highlighted this message throughout with the vital issue sessions and keynote speakers.