SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Janet Yang Rohr, D-Naperville, is working to ensure young people understand the science behind climate change and the effects it will have by advancing new legislation to include climate change science coursework in high school students’ education standards.

“Our young people know all too well that climate change is a pressing issue facing their future. It is not a matter of if we create solutions, but how soon we do it,” Yang Rohr said. “Part of my efforts in Springfield is creating fact-based coursework and teacher preparation programs on the history and future of climate change. This bill does just that.”

Yang Rohr’s House Bill 4895 gives the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) the directive to create professional development opportunities and resources for educators to best teach climate change coursework for science or social science classes in public high schools, beginning in the 2026-2027 school year. The coursework will cover the environmental and ecological impacts of climate change and potential solutions for addressing and mitigating the impact of climate change at the individual and community level. 

The legislation originated from local high school students who came to the representative asking for more comprehensive, in-depth education on the topic, highlighting the need for high school students to have a broader understanding of climate change, its various solutions and potential impacts.

House Bill 4895 passed out of the House on Thursday, April 18.

Rep. Janet Yang RohrRep. Janet Yang Rohr

41st District

Springfield Office:
231-E Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-6507

District Office:
475 River Bend Rd.
Suite 500
Naperville, IL 60540