CivicsTaskForce8-12-13A newly created task force will explore how Illinois can improve its civic education programs. A new law creating The Task Force on Civic Education was signed by the governor Friday.

“With Illinois’ track record of corrupt elected officials, I prefer that our children learn about good government from a teacher before they learn about it from a federal prosecutor,” State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park), the proposals sponsor, said.

There is currently no requirement for schools to teach civics; instead, there is only an encouragement to include civics in the social studies curriculum.

The task force will review schools’ existing civics programs, study other states’ civics programs and make recommendations to lawmakers about how to promote responsible citizenship through education.

“Proper education is our best chance to cultivate personal responsibility, civil engagement and community activism in future generations. If we can instill a sense of civic responsibility in our students we will have better-informed voters and more accountable, ethical public servants,” Cullerton said.