State Watch

Illinois passes law requiring LGBT history curriculum be taught in schools

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) signed legislation ensuring state schools teach the role and contributions of LGBT people in American history.

Pritzker signed off on House Bill 346, which was recently passed by state House earlier this year, on Friday. 

The law requires all schools in the state include "the role and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in the history of this country and this State" in official textbooks.

The state's Board of Education is also required to publish a list of the textbooks authorized to be purchased under the law annually. 

"Each public school district and state-recognized, non-public school shall, subject to appropriations for that purpose, receive a per pupil grant for the purchase of secular and non-discriminatory textbooks," the bill text reads.

The bill also includes a section that allows the department to adopt rules "as necessary" for the implementation the law and "to ensure the religious neutrality of the textbook block grant program."

State Sen. Heather Steans (D), who sponsored the legislation, said in a previous statement that "one of the best ways to overcome intolerance is through education and exposure to different people and viewpoints."

"An inclusive curriculum will not only teach an accurate version of history but also promote acceptance of the LGBTQ community," she continued.

"It is my hope that teaching students about the valuable contributions LGBTQ individuals have made throughout history will create a safer environment with fewer incidents of harassment," Steans also said. "LGBTQ children and teenagers will also be able to gain new role models who share life experiences with them."

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