BOSTON (AP) — A new state law encourages civics education in public schools with the goal of giving students a better understanding of how the nation's political system works and their place in it.

Republican Gov. Charlie Baker was joined by Democratic legislative leaders as he signed the bill on Thursday.

Among other things, the law requires school districts to help eighth-graders complete at least one student-led civics project, either individually or with a small group or class.

It also provides funding to assist school districts in implementing existing state requirements for history and civics education.

The bill was originally approved by lawmakers at the close of the Legislature's formal session in July. Baker asked for revisions to assure that the new civics requirements are implemented in a non-partisan fashion.

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