Sen. Cullerton's good government initiative becomes law
State Sen. Tom Cullerton's (D-IL) good government measure was signed into law on Friday.
llinois high school students beginning the 2016-17 academic year must now take a semester of civics to graduate.
“This is a big step toward engaging more people in the democratic process," Cullerton said. "Our goal is to give our young people the tools to make informed decisions and take an active role in government at all levels."
Illinois has joined 40 other states in requiring at least one civics course as a graduation requirement for high school graduates. Illinois high school students currently are required to complete two years of social studies.
The high school curriculum will change starting with the freshman class of 2016-17 to require one semester of the existing two year requirement to include a civics course.
The Illinois Task Force on Civic Education recommended that Illinois should require a civic education course for all high schools in Illinois. The class will focus on government institutions, current issues and discussions and simulations of the democratic process.
“We need to give our young people the tools to be civically responsible,” Cullerton said. “Our children are the future of our state and nation, we need them make sure they are involved in order to ensure this world a better place.”
The law goes into effect Jan. 1, 2016.
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