History of the Institute

The Bill of Rights Institute is a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization started by the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation. Mr. Koch saw that many high school teachers had inadequate resources to develop educational materials on the principles, institutions, and ideas upon which our country was founded. The Institute was launched in September 1999 with the initial seed funding from the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation and under the leadership of Victoria Hughes. Victoria, a former teacher herself, led the Institute for the first 10 years.

From its founding to today, the Institute has remained steadfast on its mission of educating young people about the Constitution. With the generous support of over 3,000 individual, corporate, and foundation donors, the Institute has worked hard and made significant progress in strengthening civic knowledge and values for the next generation of citizens. Through its teacher programs the Institute has made positive knowledge impact on over 18,500 teachers. Through its work the Institute provides a better understanding of the Constitution and Bill of Rights to more than 2 million students.

Since its founding, the Institute has published 16 curricula for elementary, middle, and high school classrooms including, Supreme Court DBQs: Exploring the Cases that Changes History, Being an American: Exploring the Ideals that Unite Us, and The Bill of Rights and You: Rights and Responsibilities. All of our resources are designed to drive students back to the Constitution as the foundation of their analysis of American history.