Educating future generations of American students in American history and civics is a fundamental requirement for living in the United States. Any person who has run for elected office can attest to the lack of understanding of how county and local level government works or the positions and titles of the elected officials.
Currently Congress is finalizing a rewrite of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The Senate version of the bill restores funding for history and civics education. When Congress returns to session after Labor Day they will iron out the differences between the versions of the bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. We need to contact our senators and representatives and urge them to retain the funding for history and civics education currently in the Senate version of the bill.
In addition, we need to bring focus to history and civics education. We have seen a big push for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). Now it’s time for a renewed push for History and Civics Education (HACE). We need to encourage our local educators to include civics and history and to make it relevant to the students’ lives, so they can be the leaders of the future.
To quote George Santayana, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
O’Sullivan is a former South Brunswick councilman and a current trustee of the Old Barracks Museum in Trenton.