MOREHEAD CITY, N.C. (WNCT) – A Morehead City resident and Cherry Point Marine is hoping to make a difference for college students by writing House Bill 96, the REACH Act.
If passed, it would require all college students in North Carolina to take a three-credit hour class on American government, something Jameson Broggi believes are principles graduates should understand.
“In a recent active survey, we saw that 10% of college graduates say Judge Judy is on the Supreme Court and a third of Americans can’t name a single right in the First Amendment,” said Broggi.
There are already a few states requiring American civics to graduate, studying documents like the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.
South Carolina, Georgia, Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, Utah, Nevada and Wyoming colleges all have this requirement.
“We estimate that on average, 345,000 North Carolina college students would take this class every year, reading America’s founding documents for themselves,” said Broggi. “In three years, there’ll be 10% of the state.”
Across both chambers, there are 28 sponsors for the bill, which has already passed in the North Carolina House 69-47.
Jon Hardister, North Carolina House of Representative Majority Whip District 59 is one of the primary sponsors.
“He brought the idea to me because I am co-chair of the House universities committee,” said Hardister. “It’s not a Republican or Democratic bill. It’s not meant to be partisan at all, it’s just to make sure that we fully understand US history and civics.”
Although there is some opposition from UNC professors, with hundreds signing on against the bill stating “it violates core principles of academic freedom.”
“For an undergraduate in the UNC system, they have to obtain 120 credit hours to graduate and we’re only talking about three hours, so it’s not a significant amount of instruction time,” said Hardister.
The bill still needs to pass the North Carolina Senate. If it becomes a law, it will go into effect for the 2024-2025 school year.