Raleigh, N.C. — The state Senate will vote Wednesday on whether to add the gold standard and other conservative principles to the state's high school curriculum.
Senate Bill 524, sponsored by Sen. David Curtis, R-Lincoln, builds on a law passed in 2011 requiring the addition of a "Founding Principles" curriculum to the state's history standards.
The curriculum, a model bill from conservative free-market think tank American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, requires students to receive education on the nation's "Founding Philosophy and Principles" as found in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Federalist Papers.
"We have some concerns about how DPI implemented the course," Curtis told the Senate Education Committee Tuesday, referring to the state Department of Public Instruction.
He said his bill "adds a few more principles, but it mainly instructs DPI to make sure every student takes the founding principles course before they graduate.
"If this is not implemented properly, we may have to add another course," he added.
The five principles to be added to the curriculum are as follows:
- "Constitutional limitations on government power to tax and spend and prompt payment of public debt"
- "Money with intrinsic value"
- "Strong defense and supremacy of civil authority over military"
- "Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none"
- "Eternal vigilance by 'We the People'''
"Money with intrinsic value – is that in the Federalist Papers?" asked Sen. Josh Stein, D-Wake.
"Yes, it is," Curtis replied, with agreement from Sen. Jerry Tillman, R-Randolph.
"Money with intrinsic value," a concept known as the gold standard, is the practice of backing government currency with a commodity owned in sufficient quantity to guarantee the value of all paper money in circulation. President Franklin D. Roosevelt began the process of decoupling U.S. currency from the value of gold in 1933 in response to the Depression, and the severance was completed by President Richard Nixon in 1971. Few countries still use the practice today.
The change to "fiat" money – money that isn't backed by a government-held commodity – allows governments to more easily control the supply of currency in circulation. That's a favorite topic of conservative pundits such as Glenn Beck, who distrust the Federal Reserve system and recommend the buying of gold and other commodities as a hedge against inflation.