Local activist pushes initiative to teach Constitution in schools
KENNEWICK, Wash.-- Local conservative activist Monte Benham is putting himself back in the political spotlight. Wednesday he started his campaign to get signatures for his latest initiative, I-1058. The Secretary of State gave him the go-ahead to start collecting voter signatures.
I-1058 is another attempt to require Washington schools to teach and test about the Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution, and Washington state constitution. The concept failed as a bill seven years ago, but this time, Benham says, he's confident it'll land on the ballot as a voter initiative.
Benham says he's pushing this initiative because he thinks kids are graduating high school without a complete education. He explains, paraphrasing historian David McCullough, "We're raising a generation of people who are historically ignorant of the founding principles of our nation. We cannot preserve our constitutional free republic unless the children are taught the basics."
Benham needs about 300,000 signatures by July 2 to get I-1058 on the ballot.