Proposed bill hopes to get high school students more politically engaged

Boston Statehouse

The legislature is considering a bill that would engage students in state and local politics while allowing them to form their own political opinions.

The bill calls on each public high school in Massachusetts to provide at least one student-led civics project and it must be non-partisan. 

Governor Charlie Baker added his own amendment saying that students should be allowed to “opt out” of participating in projects that push political agendas different than their own.

Gov. Baker’s amendment also calls for those students to be offered “alternative opportunities” to develop their civic skills.

Lawmakers were concerned that teachers might resist the alternative assignment option, so they added a provision that requires a principal’s approval if a student opts out of a group or class-wide project. 

In these civics classes, students will learn about taxes and basic life-skills such as how to write a check. They also cover the basics of the political process and what exactly both major parties believe. 

The Senate is expected to vote on the bill with the governor’s amendment included this coming Monday.

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