Gov. Murphy signs bill to require NJ middle schoolers to take civics course

Gov. Phil Murphy has signed a bill that will require New Jersey middle school students to take a new course.

News 12 Staff

Jul 23, 2021, 11:12 PM

Updated 993 days ago

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Gov. Phil Murphy has signed a bill that will require New Jersey middle school students to take a new course.
The new law will require that the children take a civics course. Lawmakers say that the bipartisan bill hopes to prepare students to become engaged voters and citizens.
“Civics is who we are as a society. It’s who our legacy is, who our future is,” said Republican state Sen. Tom Kean Jr.
The students will be required to take a half year of civics classes. Murphy signed the bill on Friday.
“At its core, civics has nothing necessarily to do with politics. Civics is about learning the responsibilities of citizenship. It's about understanding the vital role that every New Jerseyan plays in the future of their community, our state and our nation,” Murphy said.
Students will learn about the values of constructional democracy and the role citizens can play in a democratic society, as well as the functions and limitations of government.
“These supports will empower our educators to help students become informed, engaged members in the democratic process,” said Acting Education Commissioner Dr. Angelica Allen-McMillan.
The bipartisan bill was sponsored by Sen. Kean Jr., and passed both houses of the Legislature unanimously earlier this year.
“And being able to make sure we have a constant and structured civics education allows for individuals to have the tools to develop their own better futures, their own communities, their own knowledge base, and think critically today and in the future about issues impacting our society,” Kean said.
The New Jersey Center for Civic Education at Rutgers will draft curriculum standards and provide materials for teachers, so classes can begin starting next September.
The law is named Laura Wooten's Law after the late Princeton poll worker who spent 79 years volunteering on Election Day. She passed away in 2019 at the age of 98.


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