Center for California Studies
LegiSchool Project, $55,000
The LegiSchool Project, administered by the Center, was developed in 1994 as an educational collaboration between Sacramento State 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 in state government and civic affairs.
LegiSchool offers 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 at no cost to California educators.
In addition to the town hall meeting series, LegiSchool offers free videos to educators on basic functions of state government from Understanding California's Budget Process to How a Bill Becomes Law and Checks and Balances. The videos are produced in partnership with The California Channel. LegiSchool also sponsors a summer internship program for high school students called Real World Civics as well as several contests, including an annual photo and public service announcement video contests, and essay contest.
Prior to fiscal year 1999/00, the Assembly and Senate provided funding for the LegiSchool Project through interagency agreements with Sacramento State. In fiscal year 1999/00, $125,000 was included in the Sacramento State budget for the LegiSchool Project, and in fiscal year 2000/01 funding was transferred to the Center's 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 coordinator. However, in the 2007/08 budget year, the coordinator's salary and benefit cost was budgeted in the Center for California Studies category.