Today, Congressman Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.) introduced the Constitution and Citizenship Day Act of 2012, H.R. 6390, to commemorate the 225th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution. This legislation would encourage civic education by providing high school students new opportunities to learn about the Constitution and to register to vote.
"In 2008, young people turned out to vote in record numbers. As those voters mature and their younger siblings prepare to participate in their first election, it is essential that we expand our efforts to educate them on the principles enshrined in our Constitution," Cummings said. "Regardless of political party, young people should be given the opportunity to learn what our democracy means and to partake in our democratic process. This legislation would ensure that all students have both experiences."
In the 2008 presidential election, an estimated 23 million eligible voters were under the age of 30. In 2012, that number will increase to more than 45 million.
Constitution Day falls annually on September 17th . The Constitution and Citizenship Day Act would award competitive grants to schools to enable them to commemorate Constitution Day with educational programs that teach students about the U.S. Constitution and state constitutions.
To be eligible for a grant, schools must plan and hold assemblies or presentations that discuss our nation's history and the importance of the Constitution.