SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Schools recognize certain people and events as commemorative holidays.

A bill in the Capitol would add one more: Constitution Day. 

It would be recognized as September 17th, the day the U.S. Constitution was signed in 1787.

The bill’s Senate sponsor, State Sen. Erica Harriss (R-Edwardsville) hopes it will encourage teachers to acknowledge that day and teach students about the Constitution. She also hopes students will learn more about the three branches of government. 

“The Constitution was the fundamental document,” Harriss said. “It seems very important that our students would be familiar with that to be able to build on the rest of their civics education.”

Harriss said the idea for the bill came from Robert Werden, the regional superintendent of schools for Madison County.

“They had somebody approach them and say, ‘How are we acknowledging this in schools? I don’t see it on the calendar’ so really, this was just an initiative by our regional superintendent of schools,” Harriss said.

Students would not get the day off from school. 

The bill passed unanimously out of the House and the Senate Education committee. It is under further consideration in the Senate.

There is a federal mandate for schools receiving federal funding to acknowledge the day.