Delaware Vote Tracker

House Passes Excused School Absence for Civic Engagement Bill

The House passed House Bill 175 by a vote of 38-1-2. This bill allows one excused absence per school year for students in grades 6 through 12 to attend civic engagements such as visits to the United States Capitol, Legislative Hall, and sites of political and cultural significance, or participation in a rally, march, or protest.

Who voted against this very American bill full of civic engagement and free expression?

Rich Collins. Because he is a fascist.

The Senate has already considered and released it from the Senate Education Committee, so it will soon get a vote in the Senate.

For a student to attend a civic engagement event, the student’s parent or guardian must provide written permission no later than 3 school days prior to the student’s planned absence.

According to a Fordham Institute analysis of a 2019 Peabody Journal of Education study, high school students who are civically engaged showed increased rates of political knowledge and a sense of empowerment to solve community problems.

Several school districts throughout the country, including the Seattle Public School District and Fairfax County Public School District, have implemented policies excusing students from school for civic engagements, however, Delaware would likely be the first state to pass such a measure.

House Bill 175 SponsorsYes VotesNo Votes
Morrison, Dorsey Walker, S. Moore, Baumbach, Bentz, Brady, Briggs King, Heffernan, K.Johnson, Kowalko, Lambert, Longhurst, Lynn, Minor-Brown, Osenski, M.Smith, K.Williams, Wilson-AntonHouse Passed 38-1-2. Baumbach Bennett Bentz Brady Bush Carson Chukwuocha Cooke Dorsey-Walker Griffith Heffernan K.Johnson K.Williams Kowalko Lambert Longhurst Lynn Minor-Brown Mitchell Morrison Osienski S.Moore Schwartzkopf Wilson-Anton  Briggs King D.Short Dukes Gray Hensley M.Smith Morris Postles Ramone Shupe Smyk Spiegelman Vanderwende YearickBolden (Absent), Collins, Matthews (Absent)
Sturgeon, Hansen, Lockman, S.McBride, Paradee, Pinkney, Walsh
Current Status — Out of Committee 6/15/21

“As a former educator, I know that not everything about civics, history, and politics can be learned in a classroom. We should encourage young people to engage in their communities and in the political process–because their voices matter and we want them to stay engaged as adults,” said Rep. Eric Morrison, the bill’s chief sponsor.  

“We should lead the nation as the first state to pass this important legislation that will further promote democracy and civic engagement.”

“Real-world experience is a crucial component of learning. Students of all ages participate in field trips to laboratories, ecological areas, libraries, and museums to learn everything from history to science and more,” said Sen. Laura Sturgeon, the bill’s prime sponsor in the Senate.

“This bill is an innovative way to open up another avenue for our students to learn about civics, social studies, and government by participating directly in the democratic process long before they are old enough to vote. Not only can this be a massive boost to existing curriculum in these important subjects, it sends an important message to our students about American ideals, traditions, and our rights to speak freely and peaceably assemble. I’m proud to sponsor this bill in the Senate and eagerly look forward to the chance to pass it this year.” 

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

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