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Students & Rhode Island Department of Education Agree to Strengthen Civics Education

Press Release / Last Updated:

PROVIDENCE — Last week, litigation filed by Rhode Island students seeking to establish a constitutional right to a civics education ended with an agreement that both sides agree will strengthen civics education in the state. The League of Women Voters of the United States and the League of Women Voters of Rhode Island filed an amicus brief in the case — Cook v. McKee — highlighting the powerful connection between civics education and voter participation.  

After months of negotiations, both parties in the case agreed to the Rhode Island Department of Education establishing a civics education task force that will include some of the student plaintiffs and their counsel.  

“We are pleased that the parties came together to support future voters," said Jane Koster, president of the League of Women Voters of Rhode Island. "We owe it to our students to prepare them to participate effectively in our democracy. Quality civics education empowers voters of tomorrow and prepares them to fully participate in the democratic process.” 

"Civics education is critical to maintain a thriving democracy," said Dr. Deborah Ann Turner, president of the League of Women Voters of the United States. "At the League of Women Voters, we are dedicated to empowering everyone to fully participate in our democracy, including future voters. Providing students with the necessary resources to become informed voters only strengthens our democracy. We applaud this agreement which will result in further support of civics education.” 

The League of Women Voters is joined as amici by ACLU Rhode Island and represented by Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman.    

Under this agreement the plaintiffs will not seek review of the case by the US Supreme Court. The brief can be accessed here.  

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Press Contact: Shannon Augustus | 202-768-9578 | [email protected] 

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