A N A C T
RELATING TO EDUCATION
It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:
SECTION 1. Title 16 of the General Laws entitled "Education" is hereby amended by adding thereto the following chapter:
CIVIC EDUCATION COMMISSION
16-2.1-1. Civic education commission. -- There is hereby created a permanent commission to be known as the Rhode Island Permanent Commission on Civic Education to consist of seventeen (17) members; three (3) of whom shall be from the house of representatives, not more than two (2) from the same political party, to be appointed by the speaker; three (3) of whom shall be from the senate, not more than two (2) from the same political party, to be appointed by the senate majority leader; one (1) of whom shall be the Rhode Island Secretary of State, or designee; two (2) teachers, one (1) of whom shall be a member of the National Education Association of Rhode Island, to be appointed by the speaker, and one (1) of whom shall be a member of the American Federation of Teachers, to be appointed by the senate majority leader; one (1) of whom shall be a member of the Superintendent's Association, or principals association, to be appointed by the speaker; one (1) of whom shall be the director of the Rhode Island Historical Society, or designee; one (1) of whom shall be the Rhode Island state Archivist, or designee; and one (1) of whom shall be the Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education, or designee; one (1) of whom shall be the Director of Legislative Press and Public Information Bureau; one (1) of whom shall be from the Black Heritage Society, to be appointed by the speaker; one (1) of whom shall be from the International Institute of Rhode Island to be appointed by the senate majority leader; and one (1) of whom shall be a school librarian/media specialist to be appointed by the speaker.
16-2.1-2. Powers and duties. - (a) The commission is empowered to appoint committees to study specialized areas of concern and to report their findings and recommendations to the commission; provided, however, that one of these committees shall be a Rhode Island history committee.
(b) All departments and agencies of the state shall furnish advice and information, documentary and otherwise, to the commission and its agents as may be necessary or desirable to facilitate the purposes of this chapter.
(c) The commission shall report its findings and/or recommendations to the speaker of the house of representatives; the senate majority leader; and the commission of elementary and secondary education.
(d) Nine (9) members of the commission shall constitute a quorum.
The commission shall meet at least four (4) times per year.
16-2.1-3. Definitions. - As used in this chapter: "Civic education" shall mean: The goal of education in civic and government is informed, responsible participation in political life by competent citizens committed to the fundamental values and principles on American constitutional democracy. Their effective and responsible participation requires the acquisition of a body of knowledge and of intellectual and participatory skills. Effective and responsible participation also is furthered by development of certain dispositions or traits of character that enhance the individual's capacity to participate in the political process and contribute to the healthy functioning of the political system and improvement of society.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage.