Your State Legislation 2018-04-02T18:57:18+00:00

Legislative Activity Across the Country

Our state leaders are actively working to build awareness of the urgent need for media literacy education among policymakers. Use then links to the right to learn the status of media literacy education in your state!

To discuss leadership opportunities in your state, contact Erin McNeill, president, at 617-744-9563 or emcneill@medialiteracynow.org or use the contact form.

Congress passed 352 bills and resolutions in its last session — states passed 45,000.
CQ Roll Call.

Putting Media Literacy On The Public Policy Agenda

Media Literacy and digital citizenship is a hot-button issue for policy makers today, as concerned citizens call for action.

Current legislative status around the country:

updated March 14, 2018

We worked this year with Hawaii and Virginia to introduce new legislation. Hawaii‘s Senate has passed the model bill unanimously. Virginia‘s bill has seen bipartisan action on the House side. Massachusetts is making progress with civics, sexting, sex ed, and financial literacy bills. New York has reintroduced our model bill and New Jersey has reintroduced two bills we are supporting. The California Senate Education Committee is holding hearings on two bills this week. We have activity brewing in Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, and Vermont as well.

Previous legislative session:

In the legislative session ending December 2017, we supported passage of five bills related to Media Literacy. Connecticut and Rhode Island have passed new Media Literacy legislation.  New Mexico has passed Memorial 49 in the House, and taken action during the interim session. Washington has passed its new bill implementing recommendations of the education department as a result of 2016’s successful law. California has passed a media arts bill with Media Literacy as a goal.

Ten states introduced or continued consideration of Media Literacy legislation in 2017:

  • Arizona
  • California (3 bills, one signed by governor)
  • Connecticut (Signed by governor)
  • Massachusetts (9 bills, one Senate-passed, still in session)
  • New Jersey (Senate-passed, still in session)
  • New Mexico (Signed in House)
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania (Still in session)
  • Rhode Island (Signed by governor)
  • Texas
  • Washington (Signed by governor)

Previously:

In 2016 the governor of Washington signed into law a bill spearheaded by Media Literacy Now and our partner, Action for Media Education, that establishes a support structure to enable state educators to implement media literacy and digital citizenship education in every school.

In 2016, New Jersey’s Senate approved S436, which requires the Department of Education to emphasize media literacy as a priority in the state’s school districts, with the support of Media Literacy Now. The bill is still pending at the Assembly.

In 2015, Connecticut approved a law that requires health and safety curricula include an opportunity for students to undergo training in safe usage of social media. The legislation also states that public school students will receive instruction in computer programming. The legislation was introduced through the advocacy of Welcome 2 Reality with the support of Media Literacy Now.

In 2015, Utah passed a law that implements digital citizenship education in schools, with the support of Media Literacy Now.

In 2014, New Jersey enacted a law requiring schools to teach safe and ethical use of social media in grades 6 through 8.

Florida and Ohio require that media literacy skills be integrated into the curriculum.

Illinois requires school districts to incorporate internet safety lessons – the lessons are to be given every year starting in grade 3, and include topics such as safe and responsible use of social networking websites, chat rooms, electronic mail, bulletin boards, instant messaging, and other means of communication on the internet.

New Mexico educational statutes recommend a media literacy elective in middle or high school.

Washington recently passed a law that identifies digital citizenship as a school librarian role.

Minnesota recently added specific media literacy standards for k through 12 to the Common Core standards.

California included a media literacy element to an anti-sex-trafficking education law.

The Media Literacy Now legislative monitoring initiative is made possible by Jan Garbett, founder of Epik.
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