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Senator Yee explains the importance of civics education for children

We all know about reading, writing and arithmetic, but have you ever thought about the importance of our children learning civics? Arizona is leading a push to make sure civics is apart of our curricula. In 2015, Governor Ducey and legislators made sure students had to pass a civics test to graduate from high school. That begins with this year’s senior class. Arizona was the first state in the nation to make this requirement.

But years before that, in 2009, an Arizona legend began another effort to bring civics into the classroom. Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor founded iCivics to restore civic education in our nation’s schools. As Justice O’Connor said, “The practice of democracy is not passed down through the gene pool. It must be taught and learned anew by each generation of citizens.”

I had the honor of standing alongside Justice O’Connor a couple weeks ago in the Arizona Senate, as I read SCR 1026, a resolution I authored to express our continuing commitment to the promotion of civics education in Arizona schools. Coincidentally, in addition to our interest in civics education, Justice O’Connor and I are the only female Senate Majority Leaders in state history.

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