With deep sympathy, CAC mourns the passing of longtime board member and treasured colleague Milton F. Honel. Our condolences to Rosalie and the Honel family.
Below is an update on HB 4025 from Shawn Healy, Chair, Illinois Civic Mission Coalition
Please prepare and send your emails no later than this Friday, June 12.
Thanks for all of your help to date in our legislative effort to bring civics back to Illinois high schools through HB 4025. After passing the Illinois General Assembly by strong, bi-partisan majorities, the bill moves next to the Governor's desk. I'm writing to request your help in reaching out to him via email, urging Governor Rauner to sign this transformational legislation.
Sample email language is provided below. I encourage you to add your own qualifications and experiences as a civics practitioner and/or advocate. Also here is a link to additional information on HB 4025.
Upon completion, send your email to Governor Rauner using the online comment form on his web site.
If time permits, you may want to follow up with a phone call to the Governor's office at 217-782-0244 to ensure that your email was received. Please prepare and send your emails no later than this Friday, June 12.
Thanks in advance for your timely attention to this critical outreach. Together, we are bringing civics back to high schools throughout Illinois.
Yours in civics, Shawn
Shawn P. Healy, PhD
Chair, Illinois Civic Mission Coalition
Shawn Healy also served as the Chair of the Illinois Civic Education Task Force and has been working tirelessly to pass HB4025.
Contact Governor Rauner via email
Suggested email script - please personalize:
I am respectfully asking you to sign HB4025 which requires high school students in Illinois to take a civics course before graduating.
Illinois is one of only eleven states without this requirement.
Quality civics courses have tremendous impact. For example, when Florida recently introduced a required civics course (in middle school), 61% of Florida students achieved proficiency in civics, compared to 23% of middle school students nationally in the most recent NAEP Civics Assessment.
Citizens with high levels of civic knowledge vote regularly and participate broadly in our democracy.
Please help improve the civic health of our state by providing all students with a civics course.
Please sign HB4025.
Call script: I have just emailed Governor Rauner asking him/her to sign HB4025, but I wanted to call the office to also voice my request and confirm that my email was received.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 2, 2015
Contact: Maryam Judar
Executive Director/Community Lawyer
Citizen Advocacy Center (630) 833-4080
ILLINOIS GENERAL ASSEMBLY PASSES BILL REQUIRING CIVIC EDUCATION
AS A HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION REQUIREMENT; HEADS TO THE GOVERNOR
ELMHURST – On May 30, House Bill 4025, a bill mandating civic education in Illinois as a high school requirement has passed through the General Assembly and now heads to the Governor. Illinois is currently one of only 10 states in the nation that does not require civic education. At a time when bipartisan divisions run deep in the General Assembly, the civic education bill sponsored by Representative Conroy (D-Villa Park) in the House and Senator Cullerton (D-Villa Park) in the Senate, passed with strong bipartisan support. In addition, the Citizen Advocacy Center played a major role in the strong coalition effort that successfully generated public awareness for how required civic education could change the civic landscape in Illinois.
“Our state needs well-prepared students who have the ability to tackle tough issues impacting their communities and Illinois. A semester of civics will provide students with the knowledge of how government works and how to impact government decision-making on issues they care about,” said Maryam Judar, executive director of the Citizen Advocacy Center.
The legislation is supported by funding through a public-private partnership led by the Robert R. McCormick Foundation to provide high-quality, school-based civic learning opportunities for all students in Illinois. Over three million dollars have been pledged over the next three years to provide history teachers with professional development in civic education.
HB 4025 is based on recommendations of the General Assembly’s Task Force on Civic Education, of which Ms. Judar was an appointed member. In 2014, the Task Force recommended that Illinois require a stand-alone civic education course in high school after analyzing the current state of civic education in Illinois; civic education laws in other jurisdictions with mandated civic education; and best practices in civic education in other jurisdictions. The primary goal of requiring civic education is to increase civic literacy by increasing the capacity of youth to learn the knowledge, skills, and practices necessary to become civically informed and engaged.
Hundreds of people testified in favor of civic education when the Task Force held multiple public hearings throughout Illinois. Additional Task Force recommendations include: revision of Illinois Social Studies Standards, which is currently underway; a required civic service learning project in middle and high school; access to professional development aligned to best practices; and involvement by students in the election process.
The Citizen Advocacy Center is a non-profit, non-partisan community-based legal nonprofit dedicated to building democracy in the 21st century by strengthening the citizenry’s capacities, resources, and institutions for self-governance. Visit www.CitizenAdvocacyCenter.org for more information.