Monday, May 11, 2015

Civics Legislation Heads to Illinois Senate Floor

by Shawn Healy, Civic Learning Scholar

Illinois State Capitol (7167050199)

Civic Education Bill Update: On May 12, 2015, HB 4025 was approved 11-2 by the Senate Committee on Education with strong bi-partisan support.

Civics advocates around the state were critical in propelling the vote. The bill will now go before the full Senate for a vote, likely within the next two weeks.

The legislative session is crowded, but not so crowded that we cannot make provision for educating our next generation of citizens.

Together we are bringing civics back to Illinois schools.

Original Blog (Monday, May 11, 2015):

HB 4025, legislation ensure that every student in Illinois graduates high school prepared for civic life, is back before the Senate Education Committee tomorrow. We need your immediate help in filing electronic witness slips once more. Recall that last week we filed 218 slips to our opponents' fourteen. Can we meet or surpass this margin in the next 24 hours?

Before 1pm tomorrow, Tuesday May 12, please go online and file a digital “appearance” as a proponent for this important legislation. This process will take you fewer than five minutes. Merely follow the instructions below.

At the end of April 2015, the bill passed in the Illinois House of Representatives with an overwhelming bi-partisan vote of 81-29. Now we need your help passing it through the senate.

Educating the next generation of citizens was historically a central mission of our schools. We need to make sure it is again. The public knows this – a recent poll indicated that nearly 80 percent of people in Illinois support a high school civics course requirement. Educated, engaged young people are our future.

You are part of a historic movement to strengthen the civic mission of Illinois schools. We stand on the cusp of transformational change, and our supporters must now demonstrate the civic engagement we seek to foster in our youth.

Thank you for your timely attention to this critical legislative advocacy. Together, we are bringing civics back to our schools.

How to make your voice heard to bring civics back:

  1. Go to
  2. Scroll down the page and click GA Dashboard (in red ink along the left side of the page)
  3. If you have already registered, log into the system by clicking LOG ON at the top right-hand corner, and move to #5 below; If you have not registered, click the Register button in the left-side navigation. You will need to verify your email address through your personal email account
  4. Once you have verified your email, you will be returned to the ILGA system to log in with your password. Once logged in, you will be prompted to enter profile information. All field are mandatory (except FAX). If you don't have business, representation or title information to share, type "Not Applicable" in those fields
  5. Click Senate on the left-hand menu, then click Committee Hearings. Then in the new window, select the Week tab
  6. For HB 4025, scroll to Committee Hearings on 5/12/2015 and find Education Committee
  7. Click the paper icon to the right of the listed hearing
  8. Select HB 4025. Click Create Witness Slip located at the far right next to the bill
  9. Your identification information will reappear. Scroll down to section II. REPRESENTATION and fill in your affiliation. If that is not possible, type in “private citizen”
  10. Under section III. POSITION click Proponent
  11. Under section IV. TESTIMONY select Record of Appearance Only
  12. Click Create (Slip)
  13. When you are done creating the slip, click I Am Finished to submit