Illinois House Passes Bill to Make Asian American History Lessons Mandatory in Local Schools

Asian American history

Lawmakers in Illinois have passed a bill that would make it mandatory for local schools to teach Asian American history lessons.

The details: On Wednesday, the Illinois House of Representatives passed House Bill 376, or the Teaching Equitable Asian American History Act (TEAACH), reports The Hill.

  • Under the bill, “a unit of instruction studying the events of Asian American history” will be included in the curriculum of public elementary and high schools starting in the 2022-2023 school year.
  • Topics include the history of Asian Americans in Illinois and the West, as well as their contributions toward advancing civil rights starting from the 19th century.
  • School boards may develop their curriculums based on instructional materials provided by the State Superintendent. 

Historic bill: Illinois is set to be the first state to mandate schools to teach a unit of Asian American history to students if the Senate votes in favor of the bill, Reuters noted.

  • The bill, which passed via a 98-13 vote at the lower chamber, is now headed to the Senate for a committee review before the chamber can start voting on it. 
  • State Rep. Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz (D), the bill’s sponsor, lamented how Asian Americans are often left out of American history in her speech.
  • “Asian Americans are a part of the American fabric, but we are often invisible. We have been the victims of radicalized violence and exclusion throughout Asian American history,” she said.

Feature Image via Representative Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz

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