2010/11 Executive Summary

Center for California Studies

LegiSchool Project ($55,000)

The LegiSchool Project administered by the Center was developed in 1994 as an educational collaboration between CSU, Sacramento and the California State Legislature. LegiSchool is an issues-oriented, civics curriculum designed to engage students in discussions about genuine problems facing the state, encourage critical thinking skills, and promote the knowledge necessary for effective citizenship. The mission of LegiSchool is to promote citizenship in schools by creating opportunities for high school students to participate in debates with state leaders concerning the problems affecting California citizens. By focusing on issues that directly impact students, LegiSchool activities and study materials increase students' interest.

LegiSchool curriculum material consists of a unique tape library and related materials. Each "package" in this library contains videotaped footage of committee hearings, public testimony and floor debates associated with particular bills recently debated in the Legislature, along with articles, press clippings, reports and editorials on matters related to the bills. Another element of the project is an on-going series of interactive, televised Town Hall Meetings and Press Conferences in which state government officials and high school students meet face-to-face to discuss current issues and legislation. These meetings are broadcast live from the State Capitol by the California Channel, which enables students and other interested citizens throughout the state to participate in the discussion. Comprehensive study packets are available for classroom use before and after each televised event.

Prior to fiscal year 1999/00, the Assembly and Senate provided funding for the LegiSchool Project through interagency agreements with CSU, Sacramento. In fiscal year 1999/00, $125,000 was included in the CSU, Sacramento budget for the LegiSchool Project, and in fiscal year 2000/01 funding was transferred to the Center budget to cover direct and administrative costs of the project. In 2006/07, the Center requested $125,000 for the LegiSchool Program supplies and services and salary for the Director. However, in the 2007/08 budget year, the Director's salary was budgeted in the Center for California Studies category.