Center for Economic and Civic Learning Celebrates Legislative Achievement in Civic Education

In a significant stride toward enhancing civic education, the Center for Economic and Civic Learning (CECL) heralds the passage of the landmark legislation SB 211. The bill, which saw bipartisan support, was passed by the Indiana General Assembly on Friday, March 8, signaling a pivotal moment for civic engagement in the state.

SB 211 mandates the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) to introduce an Excellence in Civic Engagement designation for high school students, a commendation that will be noted on their academic transcripts. The criteria for this designation are set to encompass a range of activities, including volunteer work, engagement in project-based learning, and successful coursework completion, with IDOE providing the flexibility to define additional requirements. This initiative is scheduled to be implemented for students commencing high school in the fall of 2025.

Moreover, this legislative measure enables Indiana schools to achieve an excellence in civics education designation, recognizing their dedication to fostering students’ comprehension of civil society, constitutional governance, and democratic principles.

The drive and quality of Indiana’s students and educational institutions are truly exceptional. The Excellence in Civic Engagement designation is poised to highlight those deeply involved in meaningful civic activities, thereby bolstering the state’s civic health and enhancing civics knowledge,” expressed Charles Dunlap, President and CEO of the Indiana Bar FOundation. “This achievement is the result of collaborative efforts by numerous stakeholders, and we are thrilled to see the future of civic education unfold in Indiana.”

CECL extends its gratitude to State Senator Jeff Raatz, and State Representatives Chuck Goodrich, Elizabeth Rowray, and Robert Behning, along with for their pivotal roles in advocating for this bill. Furthermore, acknowledgment is due to Indiana Secretary of Education Dr. Katie Jenner for her instrumental collaboration in promoting civic education across the state.