October is LGBTQ History Month, and a coalition of LGBTQ organizations are celebrating by making tools available to school administrators, educators, youth, and families to help implement the state's new Inclusive Curriculum Law.
The Illinois Inclusive Curriculum Advisory Council ( IICAC ) unveiled the new tools, which include professional development opportunities, a guidance document, and a classroom lesson plan search portal. The IICAC is composed of the Public Health Institute of Metropolitan Chicago's Illinois Safe Schools Alliance, the Legacy Project, and Equality Illinois.
The Inclusive Curriculum Law requires public schools in Illinois to include the contributions of LGBT people in their Illinois and American history curricula. Passed by state legislators in May 2019 with bipartisan support and approved by Governor Pritzker in August 2019, the Inclusive Curriculum Law took effect on July 1, 2020, just in time for the 2020-2021 school year. Illinois is one of five states with such a law. The others are California, Colorado, New Jersey, and Oregon.
The Inclusive Curriculum Implementation Guidance available to educators includes frameworks, strategies, tools, and resources needed to implement an inclusive curriculum with confidence. The document, entitled "Implementation Guidance for the Inclusive Curriculum Law," is available on the Illinois State Board of Education website here. The guidance was developed by the IICAC with extensive engagement and stakeholder input by the Illinois State Board of Education, Illinois Education Association, Illinois Federation of Teachers, and individual educators.
Professional development is available through the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance, which launched a new workshop titled Deepening Our History: Implementing the Illinois Inclusive Curriculum Law. Individuals can visit this page for a current list of free webinar sessions.
The Legacy Project launched its Education Initiative in 2013. They have adapted their resources into a searchable portal for a variety of lesson plans from multiple sources that will help teachers integrate historically significant LGBTQ people into every subject/field presently studied in Illinois public schools. The Inclusive Curriculum Law Lesson Plan Search Portal can be accessed at icl.legacyprojectchicago.org/ .
Other IICAC resources include an Inclusive Curriculum Law Overview and FAQ document that are available here. Individuals interested in learning more about the Inclusive Curriculum Law can sign up for updates and resources from the IICAC at www.ilsafeschools.org/inclusive-curriculum-resources .
About Equality Illinois
At Equality Illinois we envision a fair and unified Illinois where everyone is treated equally with dignity and respect and where all people live freely regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression. We work hard to promote legislation to protect the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning ( LGBTQ ) individuals; maintain the visibility of LGBTQ issues; oppose legislation which seeks to limit the civil rights of the LGBTQ community; and expand statewide grassroots support.