The Bulletin Board

Bill on citizenship exam requirement heads to Senate Education Committee

By: - April 26, 2021 1:38 pm
A view of the State House in Concord.

Senate Democrats said that while they have no specifics yet on the compromise language, when it comes to “divisive concepts” no compromise would be acceptable. (Dave Cummings | New Hampshire Bulletin)

What territory did the United States buy from France in 1803? Why were the Federalist Papers important?

Both questions are on the federal citizenship exam, and you must get a 60 or better to pass. You’d have to do 10 points better to graduate from a state university or community college under a bill before the Senate Education Committee Tuesday. A companion bill requiring the same of high school students already passed both the House and Senate, largely along party lines. 

The bill’s prime sponsor, Rep. Michael Moffett, a Loudon Republican, will tell senators Tuesday he’s been horrified by the lack of civics knowledge among college students he has taught, including those in the University of New Hampshire system. 

Some will say that a civics requirement is best satisfied by encouraging activism: Send students to a town meeting,” Moffett wrote in remarks shared with the Bulletin ahead of the meeting. “But shouldn’t they know what a warrant article is first? Or what a quorum is?” 

The Senate is scheduled to take up the bill at 9:30 a.m. via a remote hearing. A link to attend is on the Senate’s website

Need help with those questions? The United States bought the Louisiana territory in 1803. The Federalist Papers helped people understand, and thereby support, the U.S. Constitution.

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Annmarie Timmins
Annmarie Timmins

Senior reporter Annmarie Timmins is a New Hampshire native who covered state government, courts, and social justice issues for the Concord Monitor for 25 years. During her time with the Monitor, she won a Nieman Fellowship to study journalism and mental health courts at Harvard for a year. She has taught journalism at the University of New Hampshire and writing at the Nackey S. Loeb School of Communications. Email: [email protected]