Cook's bill requiring middle school students to take a civics education course could soon be law

Posted by: Andi Sommers  | Friday, March 26, 2021

STATEHOUSE (March 26, 2021) – State Rep. Tony Cook's (R-Cicero) bill to improve civic engagement among young Hoosiers is on its way to the governor's desk, where it could soon be signed into law.

House Enrolled Act 1384 would require students to take a semester-long civics education course in grades 6, 7 or 8. Cook, a retired school superintendent and government teacher, said young Hoosiers usually take a government class during their senior year of high school, but this legislation is designed to reach students earlier.

"It is always surprising to me how many people cannot accurately name the three branches of government," Cook said. "This is a glaring sign we need to do a better job educating our students earlier about how their local, state and federal government works and how they can be civically engaged in their communities."

This legislation comes out of a recommendation from the Civics Education Task Force lead by Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch. House Speaker Todd Huston (R-Fishers) appointed Cook and other legislators to serve on this body alongside Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Loretta Rush and former Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson. Cook said this recommendation comes after he spent several years crafting this legislation, which is modeled after a successful program in Florida. He also said he felt now was the time to move forward with this bill given national concerns and lack of understanding of government.

House Enrolled Act 1384 is now eligible for action by the governor. For more information, visit iga.in.gov.

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State Rep. Tony Cook (R-Cicero) represents House District 32, which includes all of
Tipton County and portions of Hamilton, Madison, Delaware, Howard and Grant counties.
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