Two climate change education bills in Illinois

Chicago, Illinois.

Two climate change education bills were introduced in the Illinois legislature in early 2024.

House Bill 4319 would add climate change to a portion of school code requiring "instruction, study and discussion of current problems and needs in the conservation of natural resources," specifying that "[t]he content of the climate change curriculum ... must be verified or supported by the weight of research conducted in compliance with accepted scientific methods and published in peer-reviewed journals, if applicable, or comprises of information recognized as accurate and objective." Introduced by Kimberly Du Buclet (D-District 5) on January 3, 2024, the bill is now with the Rules Committee.

House Bill 4895 would require every public high school in Illinois to "include in its curriculum a unit of instruction addressing climate change in either a required science class or a required social studies class." It would also require instruction on climate change to be included in all high school courses in science, agriculture, social science, and relevant career and technical education courses. The state superintendent of education would be charged with preparing instructional materials and professional development training for educators. Introduced by Janet Yang Rohr (D-District 41) on February 6, 2024, the bill is now with the Rules Committee.

House Bills 4319 and 4895 appear to be the first bills of their kind in the Illinois legislature.

Glenn Branch
Short Bio

Glenn Branch is Deputy Director of NCSE.