Skokie, IL (WTHI) - Illinois officials announced a new update to the state's school curriculum.
Just this week, Governor JB Pritzker signed HB 376, the Teaching Equitable Asian American History Act, into law.
Illinois is the first state in the nation to require this new curriculum.
Beginning with the 2022-2023 school year, every public elementary school and high school will be required to include a unit of instruction studying the events of Asian American History, including the history of Asian Americans in Illinois and the Midwest.
Pritzker says he hopes this new change will help promote diversity in the classroom.
"We are reaffirming our commitment to creating more inclusive school environments," Pritzker said. "We’re making Illinois the first state in the nation to require that Asian American history will be taught in public schools, including a unit about the Asian American experience. We are setting a new standard for what it means to truly reckon with our history. It’s a new standard that helps us understand one another, and, ultimately, to move ourselves closer to the nation of our ideals.”
The bill specifies that the curriculum should include the following:
- The contributions of Asian Americans toward advancing civil rights from the 19th century onward
- The contributions made by individual Asian Americans in government, arts, humanities, and sciences
- The contributions of Asian American communities to the economic, cultural, social, and political development of the United States
State officials say the new law will take effect on January 1, 2022.