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A bipartisan bill introduced in the Senate Tuesday would provide $1 billion to expand education programs and research in civics and history. The bill aims to help to close gaps among students across the nation in civics and history education.

The Civics Secures Democracy Act would establish $150 million for competitive grants for colleges and universities to support civics and history education development and educator preparation. It would also provide $50 million for competitive grants for research that evaluates current civics and history education programs and an additional $15 million for a new fellowship program that recognizes educators in underrepresented communities and gives a stipend for a five-year commitment to teaching.

“Continued neglect of civics education will further weaken both our democratic institutions and our economic competitiveness,” said Sarah Bonk, founder of Business for America. “An investment in civics education produces a more informed and engaged citizenry, which leads to a more educated workforce, greater market stability, and better economic outcomes.”

The bill is sponsored by Senators Chris Coons of Delaware and John Cornyn of Texas and co-sponsored by Angus King of Maine, Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, Mark Kelly of Arizona and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana.