education

THE WORD | Illinois passes law requiring LGBT history curriculum be taught in schools

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) signed legislation ensuring state schools teach the role and contributions of LGBT people in American history.

Pritzker signed off on House Bill 346, which was recently passed by state House earlier this year, last Friday.

The law requires all schools in the state include "the role and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in the history of this country and this State" in official textbooks.

The state’s Board of Education is also required to publish a list of the textbooks authorized to be purchased under the law annually. 

“Each public school district and state-recognized, non-public school shall, subject to appropriations for that purpose, receive a per pupil grant for the purchase of secular and non-discriminatory textbooks,” the bill text reads.

According to The Hill State Sen. Heather Steans (D) gave the following statement

“The bill also includes a section that allows the department to adopt rules "as necessary" for the implementation the law and “to ensure the religious neutrality of the textbook block grant program. One of the best ways to overcome intolerance is through education and exposure to different people and viewpoints.” An inclusive curriculum will not only teach an accurate version of history but also promote acceptance of the LGBTQ community,”

“It is my hope that teaching students about the valuable contributions LGBTQ individuals have made throughout history will create a safer environment with fewer incidents of harassment,” Steans also said. “LGBTQ children and teenagers will also be able to gain new role models who share life experiences with them.”


Gov. Pritzker's said, "The LGBTQ community won't just have a seat at the table, they will be equal partners in the fight to make equality a lived reality for all."

New Jersey, California, and Colorado have also embraced the new LGBT school curriculum.

Check out the reaction on Twitter:

WIU Cuts Four degree programs

Four degree programs at Western Illinois University were eliminated last week during a board of trustees meeting in the Quad Cities.
The board of trustees voted to cut African-American studies, philosophy, religious studies and women's studies. Students already in the programs would be able to complete their degrees

WIU officials blame poor enrollment and low graduation rates and say the lack of a state budget didn't directly lead them to the decision.

Also during the meeting, the board approved a contract for President Jack Thomas. WIU says Thomas requested the board defer a raise for him because of the state budget crisis. The board defered his raise; Thomas's salary is currently $270,528.

 

Source: WGEM

SIU announces 180 potential layoffs, and more due to lack of funds

SIU announces 180 potential layoffs, and more due to lack of funds

Southern Illinois University will lose 180 faculty members and staffers and reduce or eliminate support for a bevy of programs and services if Gov. Bruce Rauner’s proposed 20 percent cut to public higher education holds muster in fiscal year 2017.