Arizona is taking steps to ensure the next generation receives a high-quality civics education. In 2015, Arizona became the first state in the nation to pass the American Civics Act, requiring high school students to pass the citizenship test before graduation. Since then, 34 states have followed suit. In his State of the State Address, Governor Ducey proposed building on this progress by allowing students to take the test before high school. Senator Sylvia Allen introduced S.B. 1356, allowing seventh and eighth-graders to take the test and increasing the passing score from 60 to 70 percent.
During his address, Governor Ducey also called for legislation creating Sandra Day O'Connor Civics Celebration Day — a day when classroom instruction can be devoted entirely to civics. Representative Shawnna Bolick introduced H.B. 2625, establishing September 25—the day Justice O’Connor was sworn in as the first woman on the U.S. Supreme Court—as Sandra Day O’Connor Civics Celebration Day. The legislation recently passed the House Education Committee with unanimous support.
In 2016, Governor Ducey signed legislation protecting individuals’ rights to demonstrate on college campuses. The legislation, H.B. 2615, broadens campus “free speech zones” to the entire public college campus as opposed to designated areas.