Agreement seeks to bolster civics education in RI public schools

Rhode Island will improve the way students are taught to participate in the political process in order to resolve a federal lawsuit over whether public school students have a constitutional right to a civic education, the state’s education department announced Friday.

The department said both sides in the suit have come to an agreement on how to strengthen Rhode Island’s civics education. The plaintiffs’ lead counsel, Michael Rebell, had been planning to ask the US Supreme Court to review the case — Friday was the deadline to do so.

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As part of a legal agreement, Rhode Island will improve the way students are taught to participate in the political process.

Rebell said they’re hopeful that civics education will be greatly strengthened in Rhode Island and it will serve as a model for other states.

“Especially in these difficult political times that we’re living in, civic education is more important than ever,” he said. “And if this gets more attention on what schools can do, how they have a critical role in maintaining our democracy, then all our efforts would have been worth it.”

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