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September 13, 2010

State Legislators Head Back to Class

America's Legislators Back to School Program has reached more than 2 million students.

DENVER - Each year, roughly 1,200 state legislators grab their notebooks, classroom handouts and educational videos and head off to school.

Lawmakers of both political parties visit classrooms in elementary, middle and high schools across the country to talk about the legislative process and bring civics to life for students as part of the America’s Legislators Back to School Program.

"I never would have dreamed that more than 2 million students would be involved when I helped launch the Back to School program over a decade ago," said Massachusetts Senator Richard T. Moore, president of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). "I applaud my colleagues across the country for taking part in such a rewarding program and look forward to seeing what these students can do with their knowledge of representative democracy."

This program was founded in 1999 as a one-day activity as part of the Trust for Representative Democracy at NCSL. Since then, the program has grown to a year-round event. It  kicks off the third week of September and runs throughout the school year. Legislators from all the states participate in educating students about representative democracy.

Over the past decade, NCSL has distributed close to 3 million copies of  materials about representative democracy for legislators to use in their presentations to K-12 classes. NCSL also provides training, promotional strategies and organizational support.

The America's Legislators Back to School Programs is endorse by several major education associations, including:
American Association of School Administrators
American Federation of Teachers
Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD)
Center for Civic Education
Center on Congress at Indiana University
Close Up Foundation
Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy
National Association of Elementary School Principals
National Association of Secondary School Principals
National Board for Professional Teaching Standards
National Catholic Educational Association
National Constitution Center
National Council for the Social Studies
National Education Association
National Middle School Association
National School Boards Association
Reading Recovery Council of North America
The Dirksen Congressional Center

NCSL is a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the states, commonwealths and territories. It provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues and is an effective and respected advocate for the interests of the states in the American federal system.