Developing educated, informed, and engaged citizens.

Democracy Schools Illinois Civics Policy Teacher Mentors

Policy Milestones

August 2015
Governor Bruce Rauner signs House Bill 4025 into law. It requires a semester-long high school civics course that includes instruction on government institutions, discussion of current and controversial issues, service-learning, and simulations of democratic processes. The law applies to incoming freshmen beginning with the 2016-2017 school year.

June 2015
The Illinois State Board of Education adopts new Social Science Standards. They proceed next to public comment and final approval by the Joint Committee on Administrative rules prior to implementation.

December 2014
The Illinois Task Force on Civic Education issues its final report to the Illinois General Assembly. The Task Force was charged with analyzing the state of civic education in Illinois, examining related laws and identifying best practices in other states. The Task Force was chaired and made preliminary policy and funding recommendations to the ILGA in May 2014. It later held public hearings and solicited public comments on its recommendations.

August 2014
Illinois State Board of Education announces that ICMC will lead task force charged with revising state social studies standards.

March 2014
Seventeen-year-olds who will turn 18 by the November general election are able to vote in a primary for the first time in state history thanks to 'Suffrage at 17' (Illinois House Bill 226), which was supported by the ICMC.

October 2013
Democracy School status first recognized on Illinois Report Card.

August 2013
Governor Quinn signs Illinois House Bill 2428, an act that establishes the Task Force on Civic Education. Shawn Healy, the McCormick Foundation's civic learning and engagement scholar, is appointed as chair.

July 2013
ICMC advocates for passage of Illinois House Bill 226, an act that allows 17-year-olds to participate in the primary elections provided they will be 18 by the general election. The act is passed into law on July 3.

May 2011
Illinois State Senate Resolution 149 commends current Democracy Schools, encourages all secondary schools in Illinois to become Democracy Schools and resolves that each school district's school report card indicate Democracy School status.

September 2009
Governor Quinn issues a letter recognizing 2009 Democracy Schools.

February 2009
Illinois State Board of Education issues a resolution endorsing the Illinois Civic Blueprint.

August 2007
ICMC advocates successfully for the Civic Education Advancement Act, which institutionalizes the Democracy School recognition process and allocates state funding to support related teacher professional development. The act remainds part of Illinois School Code, but has yet to receive recommended appropriations.

November 2005
The Illinois General Assembly adopts House Resolution 0509, which acknowledges the value of the Democracy School initiative.