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Asian American history could be taught in Illinois schools starting in fall 2022

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill.- The Senate passed a proposal requiring every public school in Illinois to include instruction of accurate and inclusive Asian American history.

Democratic Senators said Asian Americans are one of the fastest growing populations in Illinois and the school curriculum should reflect that. Sen. Ram Villivalam said Illinois schools currently don’t have accurate Asian American history in their textbooks.

While Republicans said they supported the intent of the bill, they argued there is no funding allocated for the instruction.

Villivalam quoted a young student on the floor, who spoke earlier this month, in a committee hearing. She said her school inaccurately discussed Asian American history, even mocking her nationality.

“This is not what we should be learning,” Villivalam quoted the student. “Our education should teach us from right and wrong through holistic and inclusive history. Not re-traumatizing Japanese American students like me. As was said in the committee, we we’re on team Kiana then and we’re on team Kiana now.”

Villivalam thanked both Republicans and Democrats for supporting the bill as it passed out of the Senate unanimously. The proposal will now head back to the House for approval. It will then move to Governor JB Pritzker’s desk for his signature.