Civics education bill co-sponsored by Manweller passes House

The House of Representatives passed legislation late last week that would require high schools to teach a stand-alone civics course.

Rep. Matt Manweller, a co-sponsor of the measure, said the legislation is long overdue.

“I have taught in multiple states and Washington is the only state that does not require civics education to be taught in their schools. This is a good first step to ensure our students have a basic understanding of how government works,” said Manweller, R-Ellensburg. “I can tell you there is a large disconnect out there. All legislators get emails asking us ‘impeach Obama’ or ‘impeach Trump’ but that is the wrong Capitol. We are in Olympia, not Washington D.C. It goes to show you how important this legislation is. We want to educate our young people about their rights and duties as citizens, how our government works and what it means to be part of that.”

House Bill 1896 would:

  • establish an expanded civics education teacher training program in the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI).
  • establish requirements for the program, including the selection of a team of social studies teachers and civics educational specialists from across the state who will be tasked with developing teacher training materials and providing professional learning opportunities.
  • require each school district to provide a mandatory stand-alone course in civics by the 2020-2021 school year for each high school student, and establish basic content requirements for the course.
  • direct the OSPI to select two school districts that are diverse in size and in geographic and demographic makeup to serve as demonstration sites for enhanced civics education.

The bill passed the House unanimously. It now heads to the Senate for consideration.

The 60-day legislative session is scheduled to adjourn on March 8.


Washington State House Republican Communications