Did You Know?

Every US Federal employee, whatever their department, is required by law (Section 111 of Title I, Division J, of the Fiscal Year 2005 Consolidated Appropriations Act (Pub. L. 108-447)) to be provided with “educational and training materials concerning the US Constitution” on initial appointment, and henceforth annually on September 17th of each year.

Also, every federally funded education establishment (presumably most schools) “shall hold an educational program on the United States Constitution on September 17 of such year for the students served by the educational institution.”

Whilst it could be argued most educational curricula demand some degree of political education for a nation’s schoolchildren (though this bill, interpretated literally, would require it even for children as young as kindergarten) requiring all government employees to undergo such “re-education” annually smacks of Huxley’s Brave New World, or Orwell’s 1984.

The exact wording of the section is laid out below:

Consolidated Appropriations
Act, 2005 SEC. 111. (a)
The head of each Federal agency or department
shall—
(1) provide each new employee of the agency or department
with educational and training materials concerning the United
States Constitution as part of the orientation materials provided
to the new employee; and
(2) provide educational and training materials concerning
the United States Constitution to each employee of the agency
or department on September 17 of each year.
(b) Each educational institution that receives Federal funds
for a fiscal year shall hold an educational program on the United
States Constitution on September 17 of such year for the students
served by the educational institution.[1]

This bill was signed into law by the Bush administration in 2005, though it was proposed by a Democrat, Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia.

Incidentally, “Constitution Day” is designated a ‘holiday’. Unfortunately, as the law demands schoolchildren must be in school, and federal employees in work, to receive their Constitution education program and training materials, it’s a ‘holiday’ in name only.

How typically American.

[1] “Public Law 108–447” .pdf document.

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2 Replies to “Did You Know?”

  1. Speaking of required reading, I would like to see it required that elected officials have to read the bills they sign.

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