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 the 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

Update Feb. 22, 2019:

We are currently following 15 bills in 12 states, most of them the product of direct efforts by state-level MLN advocates, some the results of years of policymaker education, and even some the resulted from lawmakers who care about the issue coming to us seeking help with specific legislative language. We were ready.

Many states have introduced our model bill that establishes an Advisory Council within the department of education to find solutions for ensuring comprehensive media literacy education K through 12.

In New Mexico, two bills have already moved out of the Education Committee to the finance committee.

Arizona
S1283 Similar to the MLN Advisory Council model bill
Introduced

Colorado
H1110 Creates Advisory Council
Passed by Education Committee 

Hawaii
Senate resolution to create a media literacy task force to identify the problems of a lack of media literacy among youth, identify best practices for media literacy education, and to identify existing models of curriculum and existing legislation around the country aimed at resolving the issues. (Similar to Advisory Council bill)
Expected

Illinois
HJR 9
House resolution to create a media literacy task force (Similar to Advisory Council bill – See Hawaii)
Introduced
H1559
Provides that high schools may include a unit of instruction in media literacy and that the superintendent of education may make instructional materials available to guide development of the unit of instruction
Introduced 

Massachusetts
(Docket numbers only)
1 – Advisory Council
2 – Media literacy requirement within new sex education requirement
Introduced

Minnesota
H 247 Creates a library media specialist grant program. Grantees must report on how the media specialist affected a number of measures including media literacy.
Introduced

New Jersey
A132
Requires schools to incorporate instruction in “information literacy” in grades k-12 – defining information literacy to include: Information literacy includes digital, visual, media, textual, and technological literacy.
S2933
Similar to A132
Introduced

New Mexico
H 400
Advisory Council bill that includes funding for a survey of school administrators, teachers, librarians and educational technologists to determine how media literacy education is integrated in public school curricula.
Passed by Education Committee
S194
Professional development funding
Passed by Education Committee

New York
A106
Creates an Advisory Council
S1104
requires two hours per week instruction in subjects related to civics, civility and citizenship, requires that Media literacy be included among the lessons.
Introduced

Texas
S885
Requires the incorporation of Digital Citizenship into the curriculum
Introduced 

Virginia
H1978
Advisory Council bill
Passed by Science and Technology Committee on 15-7 bipartisan vote 

Washington
S5594
Establishes a grant program to develop media literacy programs to be integrated in English, social studies or health. Also provides for two media literacy conferences to disseminate the work of the grantees. This will be Washington’s third media literacy bill.
Introduced

Previously:

In the legislative session ending December 2018, we supported passage of three bills related to media literacy. Massachusetts passed a bill mandating a civics instruction that requires media literacy be a component of that instruction. Massachusetts also passed a bill requiring financial literacy instruction in schools that also requires evaluating media content. California passed a bill to provides for a website of resources, tools and professional development information for educators.

In the legislative session ending December 2017, we supported passage of five bills related to Media Literacy. Connecticut and Rhode Island passed new Media Literacy legislation that establish an advisory council to identify best practices and make recommendations to the departments of education. Implementation is underway. New Mexico has passed Memorial 49 in the House, and took during the interim session to identify best practices. 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.

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 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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