You’d think the House of Representatives and civics education go together – but not everybody agrees civics education should be state law. State Rep. Deb Conroy (D-Villa Park), the sponsor of a measure to require civics education, says the McCormick Foundation is donating $3.3 million for three years’ worth of teacher training. Still, critics say it’s an unfunded mandate.
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“Every district in our state,” said State Rep. Chad Hays (R-Catlin), “is begging us, for the love of goodness, do not send me yet another mandate that I cannot pay for.” Speaking of schools, a bill which has passed the House allows a pilot program for online education during days when the weather is too forbidding to hold class. “They would be able to deliver the content through electronic means,” said the sponsor, State Rep. Mike Fortner (R-West Chicago). “Using this type of e-learning has been successfully used in other states.” Another lawmaker joked that if there were no more snow days, they’d have to be renamed … “Fortner days.”