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June 14, 2024 Clouds | 68°F
The 193rd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 2CCCCC: Civics Project Trust Fund

Section 2CCCCC. (a) There shall be established and set up on the books of the commonwealth a separate fund to be known as the Civics Project Trust Fund. The fund shall be administered by the commissioner of elementary and secondary education. The fund shall be credited with: (i) revenue from appropriations or other money authorized by the general court and specifically designated to be credited to the fund; (ii) interest earned on such revenues; and (iii) funds from public and private sources such as gifts, grants and donations to further civics and history education and professional development. Amounts credited to the fund shall not be subject to further appropriation and any money remaining in the fund at the end of a fiscal year shall not revert to the General Fund.

(b) Amounts credited to the fund may focus on underserved communities across the commonwealth, including those school districts with high concentrations of economically disadvantaged students, and may be expended, without further appropriation, by the commissioner for the following purposes: (i) to assist with the implementation of section 2 of chapter 71, including professional development training; (ii) for the development of the history and social science curriculum framework, including civics education; (iii) for the collaboration with institutions of higher education and other stakeholder organizations; and (iv) to establish a competitive evaluation of a student-led civics project, available to all eighth grade students.

(c) Amounts received from private sources shall be approved by the commissioner of elementary and secondary education and subject to review before being deposited in the fund to ensure that pledged funds are not accompanied by conditions, explicit or implicit, on the implementation of civics education programming that may be detrimental to the neutral and rigorous teaching of civics or unduly influence the direction of civics education policy. The review shall be made publicly available.

(d) Annually, not later than October 1, the commissioner shall report to the clerks of the house of representatives and senate, the joint committee on education and the house and senate committees on ways and means on the fund's activity. The report shall include, but not be limited to: (i) the source and amount of funds received; (ii) the amounts distributed and the purpose of expenditures from the fund, including but not limited to, funds expended to assist school districts in meeting the requirements in section 2 of chapter 71; (iii) any grants provided to institutions of higher education and other stakeholder organizations; and (iv) anticipated revenue and expenditure projections for the next year.