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LegiSchool Project

The LegiSchool Project is a civic education collaboration between California State University, Sacramento, and the California State Legislature, administered by the Center for California Studies. The Project’s mission is to engage California’s high school students in matters of public policy and state government by creating opportunities for students and state leaders to meet and share ideas on issues affecting Californians. In doing so, we hope to motivate young people to take an interest in the public life around them and to encourage their active participation in our political process.

Learn more about LegiSchool by reading the LegiSchool blog!

“Learn by doing” is the philosophy that LegiSchool employs to connect high school students to the politics that impact so much of what goes on in their daily lives. LegiSchool Town Hall Meetings, the Student Legislative Summit, sponsored contests and curriculum materials are all ways that students can learn to take initiative, be involved and connect to state government and public service. LegiSchool's curriculum materials in particular, are designed to provide a broad, easy-to-understand background on the complex issues faced by the state. The materials help students develop the basic knowledge needed to form educated, thoughtful opinions on the issues at hand.

Want to know more about this year's plan? Check out the 2020/21 Legischool Newsletter!

Want to get on our mailing lists about Town Halls, Contests, and Internship opportunities? Fill out our online form.

Student speaking at a Town Hall Meeting.

Town Hall Meetings

Each year, LegiSchool hosts a series of Town Hall Meetings, giving students the chance to discuss with policymakers issues important to young people and Californians. Students throughout California are invited to come to the State Capitol to participate in LegiSchool Town Hall Meetings.

The dates and topics for the 2019-2020 Town Hall Meetings are as follows:

  • October 25, 2020 at California State Capitol: Gender Equality.
  • December 6, 2020 (Location TBD): Juvenile Justice
  • February 21, 2020 (Location TBD): 2020 Census

If you are an educator interested in bringing a class or small group of students to a LegiSchool Town Hall Meeting please contact

*Travel stipends for buses are available!

Photo contest winner - Half Dome


LegiSchool facilitates three contests each year that are available to California high school students. See below for date and topic information for each contest. If you have any questions, please email

Essay Contest

Deaths as a result of gun violence continue to rise. What is your stance on gun control in the wake of so many recent mass shootings? How would you decrease the number of gun-related deaths? Are new gun-control laws even necessary?

All current 11th and 12th grade students are invited to draft their ideas and submit an essay response to our annual LegiSchool Essay Contest! Selected winners will be chosen to participate in the Legislative Summit at the State Capitol, where they will be able to share their thoughts and ideas with policymakers.

  • Postmark Deadline: December 9, 2019
  • Legislative Summit: March 11, 2020

Submit your essay

Editorial Cartoon Contest

Cartoonists use symbols, metaphors, caricatures and more to explore complex subjects in interesting ways. In this contest, we invite students to express their thoughts by creating an original editorial cartoon. Cash prizes are awarded to winners and runners up. Open to all current high school students in California. Complete details will be available in January 2020.

  • Postmark Deadline: March 13, 2020

Submit your cartoon

California Through My Eyes Photo Contest

How do you envision California? What represents California to you? Poverty? Wealth? Technology? Farms? Water? Mountains? Towns? People? Cities? Cars? Hiking Trails? Family? Community? Landscapes?

These are just some of the images that students are invited to photograph for LegiSchool’s annual photo contest. The photo can be of a person, place or anything―big or small The first place winner receives $100 and four runners-up receive $50 each. Photos will be displayed at the State Capitol. Open to all current high school students in California. Complete details will be available in Spring 2020

  • Postmark Deadline: May 8, 2020
Students at the Governors office

Summer Civics Institute

The LegiSchool Civics Institute is a four week long summer program for local local (Sacramento area) high school students.

The Civics Institute provides students the opportunity to experience state government first-hand and meet the people that work for our state. During their time in the Civics Institute, students will have a chance to learn about all three branches of state government and develop professional skills. Students will spend time attending professional workshops and panels, touring state buildings, participate in a mock legislative hearing, and interacte with California’s court system.

A stipend of $350 will be provided at the end of the program to assist with transportation, parking and meal expenses.

APPLICATIONS FOR THE 2019 LEGISCHOOL CIVICS INSTITUTE ARE CLOSED. Applications for the next class of the Civics Institute will open in Spring 2020.