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Oregon Bill Would Require Civics Class To Graduate

Chris Lehman

Oregon lawmakers want their constituents to know more about how the legislative process works.

That’s one of the goals of Senate Bill 513, which was approved in the state Senate Wednesday. It would require public high school students to take at least one semester of civics in order to graduate.


Sen. Lew Frederick, D-Portland, said Oregonians sometimes think the state legislature functions like a television show. “Often I have to explain to people what we’re dealing with in our political life, that the state government is not the “West Wing.” It is also not “Survivor” or “The Game Of Thrones,” he said.

The bill had bipartisan support, and was sponsored by the Senate Republican leader, Fred Girod, R-Lyons.

"As a legislative body, we very well know how government works," said Girod. "It is our duty and responsibility to make sure the generations after us do as well."

The civics class requirement would take effect starting in 2026. The measure passed 25-to-3 and now heads to the Oregon House. 


Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December, 2018. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”
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