Civics

  • Peters moves to expand civics education to juvenile justice centers

    peters 021919SPRINGFIELD — State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago) advanced legislation that would expand peer-led civics education to juvenile detention centers.

    “When young people are released from incarceration, we need to let them know about their restored voting rights and that we value their civic participation,” Peters said. “Our justice system needs to be rehabilitative and teach people how to be responsible citizens, and that includes how to exercise their voices in our democracy.”

    Senator Peters passed the Re-Entering Citizens Civics Education Act last year, which requires the Department of Corrections to provide peer-led civics education courses to incarcerated people who will be released within 12 months. His new bill will expand those courses to the Department of Juvenile Justice.

    “Whether a child is in our juvenile justice system or our public school system, they deserve to learn about their civic rights and duties,” Peters said.

    This measure also clarifies that the civics courses must include 270 minutes of instruction taught by two co-facilitators. The co-facilitators must be trained by nonpartisan civil organizations.

    Senate Bill 3241 passed the Senate Criminal Law Committee and awaits consideration before the full Senate.

  • 16 for 16: New laws for a New Year

    16 fpr 16: New laws for a New Year

    Much of the General Assembly’s work in 2015 was focused on the Illinois budget stalemate, but a variety of new laws are set to go into effect Jan. 1.

    Check out our list of 16 new laws that may affect you in 2016 – on the road, at school, in your home and around your neighborhood.

    Read a full list with descriptions of more new laws here.

     

  • Tom Cullerton’s good government measure signed into law

    tc civics 53015SPRINGFIELD-  Illinois high school graduates will now have a better understanding of state government.
     
    State Senator Tom Cullerton’s (D-Villa Park) initiative that would require a semester of civics to graduate high school was signed into law today.
     
    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 are already required to complete two years of social studies. The high school curriculum will change starting with the freshman class of 2016-2017 to simply require one semester of the existing two year requirement to include a civics course.
     
    “This is a big step toward engaging more people in the democratic process. Our goal is to give our young people the tools to make informed decisions and take an active role in government at all levels,” said Cullerton.  
     
    The Illinois Task Force on Civic Education recommended that Illinois should require a civic education course for all high schools in Illinois. The class would focus on government institutions, current issues and discussions and simulations of the democratic process.
     
    Private funding will be provided to cover the costs associated with the implementation of the civics courses, such as professional development and other school needs.
     
    “We need to give our young people the tools to be civically responsible,” said Cullerton. “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.”
     
    House Bill 4025 was signed into law on August 21 and goes into effect on January 1, 2016.