Governor to Announce Community Service Requirement

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Gov. Blagojevich will use Thursday's state of the state address to outline new legislation that would affect high school students statewide.

The governor will propose a bill that would require all high school students to complete 40 hours of community service in order to graduate.

The proposed community service requirement would include opportunities for students to work at local libraries, volunteer at local senior centers, or simply pick up trash at a community park, among other service related activities.

The proposal would allow districts the flexibility to spread the 40-hour requirement for students over the course of their four-year high school education.

A study by the National Education Journal shows that 83 percent of schools with community service requirements report higher grade point averages for participating students.

While many local students give the governor's proposal a thumbs down, others say the idea could prove beneficial. Chicago public schools already require students to complete 40 hours of community service, and if Illinois makes community service mandatory, it will join Maryland as the only two states to do so.