SR-111, As Adopted by Senate, September 19, 2007
Senator Thomas offered the following resolution:
Senate Resolution No. 111.
A resolution supporting civic education and observing September 16-22, 2007, as Michigan Legislators Back to School Week.
Whereas, Michigan was created as a representative democracy in which all governmental power is inherent in the people who exercise that power through the legislative, executive, and judicial branches; and
Whereas, In recent years, as a result of a lack of understanding and deteriorating faith in the merits and knowledge required for a successful republican form of government, citizen interest in government and comprehension of the political system has declined; and
Whereas, Benjamin Rush, signer of the Declaration of Independence, stated, "There is but one method of rendering a republican form of government durable, and that is by disseminating the seeds of virtue and knowledge through every part of the state by means of proper places and modes of education and this can be done effectively only by the aid of the legislature"; and
Whereas, The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) adopted a resolution that declares that citizens all too often maintain little understanding of the functions of the state legislatures and the roles of individual, and public awareness and comprehension of the institutions and procedure of the government is an imperative step to developing public trust and confidence; and
Whereas, The NCSL resolution also states that state legislatures need to increase understanding of the notion of representative democracy, and education regarding representative democracy should highlight the significance of compromise and cooperation and the complexity of resolving competing interests present in our society; and
Whereas, Civic education is a fundamental instrument in endorsing an improved understanding of the legislative institution and the role of legislators in representative democracy; and
Whereas, The NCSL encourages the nation's state legislators to promote civic education about representative democracy; and
Whereas, The NCSL established America's Legislators Back to School Week, a national event where state legislators across the nation visit schools and classrooms to teach students of all ages and grade levels about the practices and objectives of the legislature, as well as to observe activities in the schools; and
Whereas, Legislators will benefit from interacting with students, teachers, and administrators; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Senate, That the members of this legislative body support civic education to promote an enhanced understanding of the legislative institution and the role of legislators in representative democracy; and be it further
Resolved, That the Michigan Senate declares that the third week in September, September 16-22, 2007, shall be designated as Michigan Legislators Back to School Week and urges all members of the Legislature to visit schools during that week; and be it further
Resolved, That a copy of this resolution be transmitted to the National Conference of State Legislatures as a token of our support.