Posted on May 14, 2003
WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) today announced that his "American History and Civics Education Act" was unanimously approved by the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee. The bill now heads to the Senate floor. Alexander's bill, S.504, creates summer residential academies for teachers and students based on the successful Governor's School program in Tennessee that Alexander implemented as governor. "This bill addresses the intersection of two urgent concerns that will determine our country's future," Alexander said. "These are also the two topics I care about the most: the education of our children and the principles that unite us as Americans. "It is time that we put the teaching of American history and civics back in its rightful place in our schools so our children can grow up learning what it means to be an American." Alexander's bill is co-sponsored by 20 other senators including Sens. Bill Frist (R-TN), Judd Gregg (R-NH), Harry Reid (D-NV) and Edward Kennedy (D-MA). "I want to congratulate my colleague from Tennessee on getting his first piece of legislation passed through the HELP Committee," Frist said. "I commend you for your enthusiasm and devotion to making sure each student understands what it means to be an American, and I congratulate you on your first legislative accomplishment." "I commend Senator Alexander for his leadership on this bill," Kennedy said. "The American History and Civics Act is an important effort to encourage students across the country to learn more about our history and the basic principles of the nation. "The bill is a timely and important initiative. It can make American history come alive for students, and serve our communities and our country very well in the years to come. I hope all my colleagues will support it." Congressman Roger Wicker (R-MS) sponsors the legislation in the House.