State awards civics grants to local schools

Brandon Paykamian • Jan 26, 2020 at 10:00 AM

Gov. Bill Lee and Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn awarded 21 Governor’s Civics Seal “mini-grants” Friday to promote “life-long civic engagement in schools and districts across the state.” Some of those grants went to local schools. 

According to the Tennessee Department of Education, the grants will be used in the 2020-21 school year to fund initiatives that include promoting life-long civic engagement by providing access to high-quality, standards-based civics resources; establishing civics programs in rural and urban schools and districts; supporting highly effective educators through civics-based professional development; and preparing schools and districts to earn the Governor’s Civics Seal.

Washington County Schools received a $15,000 district grant, which will be used to invite experts in constitutional law to schools to discuss free speech and due process, as well as a National Constitution Center workshop at Asbury for teachers in May. 

“We’ll be targeting teachers who teach subject matters along those lines,” Director Bill Flanary said. “We're pretty excited about that.

“I don’t think we can overeducate children about their constitutional rights,” he later continued. “It’s something that Americans need to know about.”

Unaka High School also received $5,000 school-level grants for similar programs aimed at bolstering students’ civics knowledge. 

In total, the state awarded $220,000 to support schools in implementing civic education programs that prepare students for “college, career and civic life.” 

"Thanks to these new resources, we can better prepare our students in the classroom and in life for what it means to be a citizen of this great nation,” Lee said in a Friday press release.

For more information on these grants, visit www.tn.gov/education

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