Looking at implementation of an LGBTQ+ curriculum in state public schools

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09/01/2020

On Aug. 9, 2019, Gov. JB Pritzker signed Illinois House Bill 246 into law, amending the school code to include contributions of LGBTQ+ figures in public schools all over the state, effective as of July 1, 2020. Board members, teachers, students and parents are now learning to adapt to the curriculum changes during the first year with the new directive. Equality Illinois Public Policy Director Mike Ziri spoke about the push for the mandate, how Illinois plans to introduce the material and feedback he’s heard from districts. “What we heard from some districts over the past year is, ‘Hey we want to do this, but can you offer some guidance and resources?'” said Ziri. Each individual district board is ultimately left to disseminate the curriculum. Equality Illinois and the Legacy Project are resources to help guide districts with the new material. Tools that are being used to guide this process include explanatory videos and a website that’s currently in the works. Although the mandate will look different across the state, the consensus for many districts is to weave LGBTQ+ figures and contributions into the existing curriculum, rather than sectioning it off.

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