Iowa Bill: Students Don’t Need to Learn About Voting
Iowa state Rep. Pat Grassley (R) — the grandson of Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) — introduced a bill earlier this week that increases the amount of instruction in government and “the tenets of American citizenship” in the state’s high school social studies curriculum, but specifically eliminates “the high school social studies requirement to teach voting procedures.”
Under the measure, public high school students in Iowa would learn about “national, state, county, and local governments” without receiving instruction in voting procedures or methods:
This bill increases the amount of instruction in government required as part of the state’s high school social studies curriculum from one-half unit to one unit. The bill adds instruction in the federal system of government; the overlapping features and responsibilities of the national, state, county, and local governments; and the tenets of American citizenship to the subjects required in the instruction in government. The bill adds the principles of American citizenship to the required subjects for assessment as part of the instruction in government.
The bill strikes requirements that high school students receive instruction in voting statutes and procedures, voter registration requirements, the use of paper ballots and voting systems in the election process, and the method of acquiring and casting an absentee ballot.
As Progress Iowa’s Matt Sinovic put it, “If [Grassley] doesn’t think voting is a principle of American citizenship, then what is? Nothing is more fundamental to being American or Iowan than exercising our right to vote.” The organization has launched a petition against the measure.