Here at Safe and Sound Schools, we’ve been keeping a close eye on Illinois’ Teaching Equitable Asian American Community History (TEAACH) Act. The legislation will require schools there to teach Asian American history in the US, and is now heading to the governor’s desk. Read on for more details.
Illinois is poised to become the first state to require that public schools teach their students the history of Asian Americans, who have endured an increase in anti-Asian hate crimes amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Illinois Senate passed the Teaching Equitable Asian American Community History Act, known as the TEAACH Act, by a unanimous vote of 57-0 on Tuesday. The legislation, introduced in January by Illinois State Rep. Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz, D-Glenview, passed the state House in April. The House has to approve a Senate amendment before it will head to Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s desk for his signature.
The bill would require every elementary and high school in the state to devote a unit of curriculum to the history of Asian Americans in the United States, including in Illinois and the Midwest. School districts would have until the start of the 2022-2023 school year to comply.