Media Literacy is Finally on Congress’s Radar

Is your Senator on board? Find out below.

A bill introduced in the Senate by Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) provides matching federal funds to states offering students curriculum options that integrate key 21st-century skills – including information literacy and media literacy. The bill is currently under consideration by the Senate Finance Committee.

The 21st Century Skills Incentive Fund Act (S.1029), which is co-sponsored by Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and John Kerry (D-MA), suggests several areas where states could expand their curricula to encompass 21st-century skills, such as global awareness; financial, economic, business, and entrepreneurial literacy; civic literacy; and health and wellness awareness.

According to the bill, “Students need to go beyond just learning today’s academic context to develop critical thinking and problem solving skills, communications skills, creativity and innovation skills, collaboration skills, contextual learning skills, and information and media literacy skills.”

If passed, the bill would appropriate $100 million a year for the U.S. Department of Education to pass on to states that have developed a comprehensive plan for implementing a statewide 21st-century skills initiative and are able to supply matching funds for their initiative. For the states that already have implemented a 21st-century skills initiative-Arizona, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and West Virginia- passage of the bill would be an opportunity to receive financial help.

Learn more and contact your representatives in Congress!

You can find out more about S.1029 by going to the following sites:

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