Eighty-three percent of Illinois high schools already require some form of civic education. A measure approved by the Illinois House would require all schools to teach it.
"Obviously, with Illinois' reputation of corruption in politics, I think we need to have an emphasis on responsible citizens and dealing with those issues," Representative Donald Moffitt, a Republican from Galesburg, said.
Representative Deborah Conroy, a Democrat from Villa Park, says teaching students about government is imperative to building future leaders.
"It's understanding that you need to have an opinion be informed and also understanding that you have the ability to change something you don't like."
Critics call it an unfunded mandate. But Conroy secured funding from private organizations that will be used to train teachers.
The measure passed the state House 81 to 29. It now goes to the Senate.