Governor JB Pritzker signed HB 376, the Teaching Equitable Asian American History Act, into law Friday. This law makes Illinois the first state to require a unit of Asian American history be taught in public schools. This newly signed legislation adds a new section on Asian American history study to the Illinois School Code. Starting with the 2022-2023 academic 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. The bill specifies that the curriculum should include:
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
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) is authorized to make instructional materials available to every school board however, each school board will decide on the minimum amount of instructional time that qualifies as a unit of instruction as stated in the bill.
House Bill takes effect on January 1, 2022.