Urgent: Save the Teaching American History program

I see that the American Historical Association has issued a Call for Action regarding the endangered Teaching American History grant program. This post over at the National Coalition for History provides additional details.

The short version is this: The Department of Education is about to eliminate the Teaching American History program. The money will be reallocated to another funding pool. History programs may apply to that pool, but so will math and reading and everything else. We can safely predict that history will be all but forgotten.

To date the government has invested almost a billion dollars in history education. The money has revitalized the teaching of American history. The program has benefited far more people than public school teachers and their students. Participation in the TAH program has connected a whole generation of academic of academic and public historians to public school teachers and forged a nationwide community of history advocates. Those of us in the historical community need to rally and fight for this program.

Please take a moment to contact your local congressional representative and senator. You might send a copy of your email to President Obama and Secretary Duncan as well. Below is a sample of what your email might say--feel free to adapt, alter, or copy it outright:

Dear Congresswoman XX:

I am writing to encourage you to support continued funding for one of the most important educational initiatives of the last decade, the Teaching American History program at the Department of Education.

The Teaching American History program was championed by the late Senator Robert Byrd, and since its inception in 2001 has improved the teaching of American history for tens of thousands of students across the nation. It is the ONLY program at the Department of Education specifically targeted at history education.

Please support continuing the Teaching American History program as a stand-alone budget item in the Department of Education budget. Only by keeping history education as a separate item in the budget can the integrity of the program be maintained.

Your Constituent,