The Assistant Deputy Secretary for Innovation and Improvement announced that, pursuant to legislation passed by Congress, educational institutions receiving Federal funding from the U.S. Department of Education (Department) are required to hold an educational program pertaining to the United States Constitution on September 17 of each year.
Section 111 of Division J of Pub. L. 108-447, The “Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2005,” Dec. 8, 2004; 118 Stat. 2809, 3344-45 (Section 111) authorizes this Congressional initiative. Section 111(b) states "each educational institution that receives Federal funds for a fiscal year shall hold an educational program on the United States Constitution on September 17 of such year for the students served by the educational institution.” For purposes of the Department’s implementation of this requirement, “educational institutions” includes, but is not limited to “local educational agencies” and “institutions of higher education” receiving Federal funding from the Department.
Section 111 requires that Constitution Day be held on September 17 of each year, commemorating the September 17, 1787, signing of the Constitution. However, when September 17 falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday, Constitution Day shall be held during the preceding or following week. This year Constitution Day will be observed on September 16, 2005.
Some informational resources pertaining to the Constitution are contained in the attachment to this memo. In addition to these, the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) is aware that there may be other public and private resources available that may be helpful to educational institutions in implementing Constitution Day. While the ADE does not endorse any particular program or Web site, this information is provided because it may be of use to educational institutions developing Constitution Day programs.