iCivics Shows Civic Education is a Bipartisan Issue

We have never done issue polling before to figure out our messaging and also advance our policy agenda. Brent and the Cygnal team were great guides and helped us get exactly what we needed out of the project and more.” — Louise Dubé, Executive Director, iCivics 


Civic education in America is lacking, mostly due to a lack of funding. At the time of the poll, the federal government spent roughly $50.00 per student on STEM and $0.05 per student on civic education. 

With the goal of influencing lawmakers that increased civic education funding is vital, iCivics sought to show that civic education in fact is a bipartisan issue on top of being very popular with voters. Key lawmakers needed to be shown that civic education has Republican support because some lawmakers had expressed concern that civic education could be a trojan horse for other education issues.


In order to provide data for both internal messaging and external persuasion/validation, Cygnal worked with iCivics to craft a national survey that showed there is strong support for civic education funding, with a particular emphasis on Republican voters and parents of K-12 students. With these oversample audiences, iCivics was able to determine initial support for civic education funding and then understand what messages grow that support overall – especially among key audiences. All of this needed to be accomplished in an unbiased way to prove credibly that civic education has salience and support. 

The data ended up showing broad support and desire for more funding, even among the groups of voters that members on the Hill said would be against the legislation. It was clear and compelling that emphasizing civic education and providing more funding is a winning political and policy issue.


Interviewing over 3,000 voters, Republican primary voters, and K-12 parents nationally provided a wide array of information for the many intended applications. The data was used for earned media, a nationally published op-ed, a major policy event at the Reagan Library, and conversations on the Hill that showed the indisputable fact that Americans across the political spectrum are behind civic education funding increases. In the end-of year omnibus bill that passed with bipartisan support, Congress appropriated $23 million in federal funding for civic education in FY23 (triple the $7.75 million from FY22 and raising the annual per student spending nearly 10x to just under $0.50).