Riverside—In October, Senate Bill 24 became law in California, authorizing a new seal graduating seniors will be able to earn for their high school diplomas. Called the Seal of Civic Engagement, it will honor meritorious service and must be earned like the Seal of Bi-literacy—which recognizes fluency in multiple languages—and the Golden State Seal Merit Diploma—which recognizes overall academic excellence.
The legislation is an effort to revive civics education in California. By 2021, the Department of Education is expected to determine who will be eligible and the criteria for awarding the seal. The challenge will be to find a balance between encouraging students to get involved civically while also maintaining focus on accomplishments that earn the attention of colleges and employers.