You are here

History, Culture, Social Contributions and Civil Government in Education

Click here to download and print this information in a PDF fact sheet format.

History, Culture, Social Contributions and Civil Government in Education

Background on the House Bill 19-1192 Commission

In 2019, the Colorado General Assembly passed House Bill 19-1192 to add minority groups into the history and civics lessons in public schools. The legislation created a commission to be appointed by the governor, the commissioner of education and the president of the State Historical Society.

The commission was charged with writing a report with recommendations for the State Board of Education and CDE on how to add details about minority populations into the history and civics sections of the Colorado Academic Standards for social studies. This included but was not limited to American Indians, Latinos, African Americans, and Asian Americans, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals and the contributions and persecutions of religious minorities. The commission published its report in June 2021 to help inform the social studies revision process which was underway at that time.

Recommended revisions to standards

The Colorado Academic Standards review and revision process, included the presentation of multiple draft revisions before the State Board of Education over the span of a year. The first presentation occurred in November 2021 when the social studies committee chairs presented initial recommendations to the State Board of Education. A three-month public comment period following the November 2021 presentation resulted in a large number of comments urging the committee to remove references of LGBTQ+ individuals in the social studies standards for early grades. As a result, the committee suggested changes to the initial draft in preparation for its final recommendations.

In April 2022, state board members reviewed the public feedback in reaction to the committee’s draft recommendations.

At the June 2022 State Board of Education meeting, the social studies standards review committee presented its final recommendations, which included removing references to some minority groups, including LGBTQ+, for standards below the fourth grade.

Examples of some of those recommended changes can be seen in the table below.

Grade and Subject Social Studies Standard
Adopted June 2018
Proposed Social Studies Standards
November 2021
Proposed Social Studies Standard
June 2022
First Grade History

Identify similarities and differences between themselves and others.

Identify similarities and differences between themselves and others. For example: Race, ethnicity, gender identity, religion, ability, and family makeup.

Identify the unique characteristics of oneself as well as the similarities and differences between themselves and others. For example: eye color, ability, individuality, family composition, etc.

Fourth Grade Civics

Discuss how various individuals and groups influence the way an issue affecting the state is viewed and resolved.

Discuss how various individuals and groups influence the way an issue affecting the state is viewed and resolved, including African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans, Indigenous Peoples, LGBTQ, and religious minorities.

Discuss how various individuals and groups influence the way an issue affecting the state is viewed and resolved. Including but not limited to: the contributions of African Americans, Latinos, Japanese Americans, Indigenous Peoples, LGBTQ, and religious groups.

Eighth Grade Civics

Describe instances in which major political, social, economic, or cultural changes occurred that affected the definition of citizenship or expanded or restricted rights of citizens.

Describe instances in which major political, social, economic, or cultural changes occurred, and the reasons for the changes, and how they impacted women, Indigenous Peoples, African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans, and people living in annexed territories.

Describe major political and/or social changes that affected the definition of citizenship, expanded or restricted the rights of citizens, and how those changes impacted women, Indigenous Peoples, African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans, and people living in annexed territories.

High-School History

Gather and analyze historical information to address questions from a range of primary and secondary.

Gather and analyze historical information to address questions from a range of primary and secondary.

Gather and analyze historical information to address questions from a range of primary and secondary.

Next Steps

At its November 2022 meeting, the State Board of Education will offer amendments and vote on the committee’s final recommendations, inclusive of the 1192 committee's recommendations. Any board member amendments adopted during the November 2022 meeting will be included in final recommendations presented to the board when it votes on the social studies standards in full at the end of the year.

A Note About Discrimination

Federal and state law prohibit discrimination in public schools. Section 22-32-109 C.R.S. requires local boards of education adopt written policies specifying that schools in their districts are subject to all federal and state laws and constitutional provisions prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, religion, ancestry or need for special education services.

A Note About LGBTQ+ References

The purpose of H.B. 19-1192 was to ensure that the history, culture and social contributions of LGBTQ+ individuals were recognized in Colorado's history and civics standards. This does not mean there is an obligation to teach comprehensive human sexuality education, which is optional under state law (C.R.S. 22-1-128).