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Mar 11 2024

Indiana Bar Foundation Celebrates Passage of Excellence in Civic Engagement Legislation

AllCivic Education

March 11, 2024 (INDIANAPOLIS) —The Indiana Bar Foundation (Foundation) applauds the passage of SB 211, which passed the Indiana General Assembly last Friday, March 8, in an overwhelming bipartisan vote.

This bill directs the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) to establish an Excellence in Civic Engagement designation to be earned by high school students and recognized on their transcript. Criteria to earn the civic engagement designation may include volunteer hours, participation in project-based learning opportunities, and successful completion of coursework, among other criteria IDOE may establish. This designation will be available to students entering high school in autumn 2025.

Additionally, through this legislation, schools across Indiana can earn an excellence in civics education designation for demonstrating rigorous commitment to developing student understanding of civil society, constitutional government, and the democratic process.

“We have remarkable students being taught in high-quality schools across Indiana. This Excellence in Civic Engagement designation will shine a spotlight on those who are participating in robust civic learning and engagement to improve Indiana’s civic health and be more knowledgeable in civics,” said Charles Dunlap, President & CEO of the Indiana Bar Foundation. “This legislation came from a lot of good work by many partners, and we’re excited to continue improving civic education across Indiana.”

The Foundation is extremely thankful for the leadership of State Representatives Chuck Goodrich, Elizabeth Rowray, and Robert Behning and State Senator Jeff Raatz for championing the legislation. The Foundation is also thankful to Indiana Secretary of Education Dr. Katie Jenner for her partnership in advancing civic education throughout Indiana.

As a part of its continued focus on civic education, the Indiana Bar Foundation and its Indiana Civics Coalition will host the second annual Indiana Civics Summit on Thursday, April 11, 2024 at the Ivy Tech Conference Center in downtown Indianapolis. The one-day conference aims to bring awareness, collaboration, and amplification of the positive impact and outreach of civics across the state.

Summit sessions include Successes and Challenges: A Review of the 2023 Indiana Civic Health Index; Voter Registration and Engagement for Hoosier Youth; Educator Roundtable: What Teachers Need and How to Help; and the Importance of Civics and Community with a lunch keynote address by retired Indiana Supreme Court Justice Steven David.

For more information on the Indiana Civics Summit, including registration, visit