The Civics Lesson the NCGA Should Remember – It’s In the Textbooks They Won’t Supply Schools

From the North Carolina Essential Standards Social Studies –American History: The Founding Principles, Civics and Economics Course:

The Civics and Government strand is framed to develop students’ increased understanding of the institutions of constitutional democracy and the fundamental principles and values upon which they are founded, the skills necessary to participate as effective and responsible citizens and the knowledge of how to use democratic procedures for making decisions and managing conflict (


It is in Civics class where North Carolinian high schoolers learn about the democratic process and the “skills necessary to participate as effective and responsible citizens and the knowledge of how to use democratic procedures for making decisions and managing conflict.”

Remember when Sen. Chad Barefoot wanted to do away with Governor’s School and replace it with another version that dealt with legislation?

Amendment #2 to Senate Bill 257 from last summer proposed to establish a “Legislative School For Leadership and Public Service” using the very funds that would have financed Governor’s School starting in 2018-2019.

To teach civics and the democratic process.

If that rabid adherence to teaching students the ways that a democratic society still resides in our actual government, then would it not make sense to see it played out presently with the budget. But alas.

The rumor out of West Jones Street is that the NCGA GOP super-majority will enact a parliamentary procedure that will allow them to not only write a budget behind closed doors, but pass it through committee without any public debate or possibility of amendments.

That sounds democratic, right?

And that committee. All members appointed are from the same political party.


Look at those names again.

The chair of the committee, Rep. Dollar, really took those essential standards for civics class when he said that the budget being crafted behind closed doors away from debate and criticism actually had been debated and ironed out – last year.

Most of the budgeting was done for the second year last year in the budget. It was obviously fully debated, fully discussed, fully amended” (

Fully debated? Fully discussed? Fully amended just like it was explained in a basic civics textbook? Probably not. Why is that?

Because the same lawmakers who are rewriting what that democratic process is here in North Carolina made sure that civics classes don’t have up-to-date textbooks. That, and the fact that the very schools which teach these essential standards are the very institutions that are being hurt most by the budget that will be passed with the nuclear option.

A budget to make sure that public schools don’t have enough in their budget.

Democracy at its best? Not.



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