The Illinois General Assembly's website states that Senate Bill 3249 has made its way through the Senate, and arrived in the Illinois House of Representatives on May 3. SB 2349 was first introduced back in February by Senator Heather A. Steans, a Democratic Representative for Illinois' 7th district.

The process so far

Senate Bill 3249 was voted on by the Senate Education Committee on May 2 and was passed with 34 in favor, and 18 against. The bill now has 12 Senate sponsors, and after arriving in the house on April 3, it gained the sponsorship of 18 Democrats and one Republican.

What will this bill do?

The Illinois General Assembly's website lists the full text of the bill, and states that this bill will require that all public schools in Illinois teach a section on the contributions of LGBT individuals in terms of the history of the country and the state. It also lays out guidelines for the purchase of textbooks for the implementation of the program. The text also states that this requirement will also be imposed on state-recognized non-public schools.

What materials will schools use?

Something of considerable interest is that the language in the bill does not limit the material to be purchased to that of a "textbook." The Illinois General Assembly's website lists the full text of the bill and describes "textbook" as an electronic source, or anything that is used as a text or text substitute.

This also includes curriculum materials for science courses in a kit format that include pre-packaged materials, to be used in the classroom in place of a textbook.

The bill also states that the State Board of Education will annually publish a list of acceptable textbooks for schools. They are also able to provide funding to all public and state-recognized non-public schools for the purchase of the textbooks for students in grades K-12

All materials that are purchased for this program must be the materials that are listed on the State Board of Education's list.

Schools will not be allowed to make individual purchases of materials that are not approved.

What happens next?

SB 3249 is in the Illinois House of Representatives. The Elementary & Secondary Education: School Curriculum & Policies Committee has a hearing on the bill scheduled for May 17, 2018, at 9 AM. If the bill is passed, it would take effect on July 1, 2019.

What are your thoughts on this? Should this be taught in school?

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