pexels rfstudio 3810795SPRINGFIELD – During January’s session, State Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) voted to reform Illinois’ education system.

“Education is the foundation for so many aspects of how we view ourselves, and the world around us,” Van Pelt said. “It is vital to update our curriculums to reflect our country’s diverse and complex history.”

The legislation creates an Inclusive American History Commission to reform the Black history curriculum and curriculums for teaching about other minority groups. This commission isn’t just going to look at Black history – it will look at how we teach the history of all historically marginalized groups – Latinx, women, LGBTQ, Jewish, and more.

Additionally, high school curriculums will be updated to require two years of laboratory science and a foreign language -- or sign language -- to graduate high school. This will ensure schools in every community offer these basic courses that are required for admission to many colleges and universities.

A one-year course with an intensive computer literacy focus will also be added to high school curriculums.

“It is very important for curriculums to be the same throughout the state, to ensure that every student has the same opportunities when applying for higher education,” Van Pelt said.

For students seeking a secondary degree, the legislation changes the matching requirement for AIM High scholarships to make it easier for students at less well-funded schools to qualify by reducing the schools’ match.

A significant goal of the legislation is to seek more race conscious and equitable ways to fund higher education.
House Bill 2170 has passed both chambers and awaits Governor Pritzker’s signature.

Category: Press Releases

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