BTSP BrochureAmerica's Legislators Back to School Program
A program of the Trust for Representative Democracy

Draft Resolution for State Legislatures

A resolution supporting civic education and declaring the third week in September as the kick-off week for America's Legislators Back to School Program.

WHEREAS, [State] was created as a representative democracy in which all governmental power is inherent in the people who exercise that power through the legislative, executive and judicial branches; and

WHEREAS, In recent years, citizen interest in government and knowledge of the political system has declined in part due to a weakening belief in, and a lack of understanding of the virtues and knowledge needed for a successful republican form of government; and

WHEREAS, Benjamin Rush, signer of the Declaration of Independence stated, "There is but one method of rendering a republican form of government durable, and that is by disseminating the seeds of virtue and knowledge through every part of the state by means of proper places and modes of education and this can be done effectively only by the aid of the legislature"; and

WHEREAS, The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) has passed a resolution that says that the operations of the state legislatures and the roles of individual legislators are often little understood by citizens, and that public understanding of the institutions and processes of the government is critical to building public trust and confidence; and

WHEREAS, The NCSL resolution also states that state legislatures need to bring about better understanding of the concept of representative democracy and that education about representative democracy should emphasize the importance of compromise and the difficulty of resolving competing interests in a diverse society; and

WHEREAS, Civic education is a vital tool to promote greater understanding of the legislative institution and the role of legislators in representative democracy; and

WHEREAS, NCSL urges the nation's state legislatures to promote civic education about representative democracy; and

WHEREAS, NCSL has established America's Legislators Back to School Program, a national program where state legislators across the nation visit schools and classrooms to talk about the legislature and to observe activities in the schools; and

WHEREAS, Legislators will benefit from interacting with students, teachers and administrators.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE ______ OF THE STATE OF ______:

THAT the [State] Legislature supports civic education to promote greater understanding of the legislative institution and the role of legislators in representative democracy.

THAT the [State] Legislature declares that the third week in September shall be designated as the kick-off week for [State's] Legislators Back to School Program and urges all members of the legislature to visit schools during that week and during the school year.