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Sims: Illinois history needs to be made a priority in our schools

il history 041019SPRINGFIELD—A plan to require Illinois history to be taught in schools passed the Senate Wednesday.

State Senator Elgie R. Sims Jr., a Democrat from Chicago, sponsored the bill that would create a requirement that Illinois history be taught in public schools.

“To create a better Illinois, we must teach our future leaders its rich history,” Sims said. “It is crucial that our students learn where our state has been, so they will have a better idea of where it needs to go, a better understanding of our society, a deeper sense of identity and hopefully be prompted to create change in their communities.” Currently, there is not a specific requirement that Illinois history be taught as part of the U.S. history requirement in K-12 schools.  The law does require the course to include a comprehensive idea of our democratic form of government, the role and contributions of African Americans, Hispanics and other ethnic groups, and the role of labor unions.

“State government has a major impact on many aspects of our young peoples’ lives, especially their education,” Sims said. “As state leaders, it’s important that we make it a priority to educate students about how government works and our great state’s history.

Senate Bill 1601 is now headed to the House for consideration.

Senator Elgie R. Sims Jr.

Senator Elgie R. Sims Jr.

17th District

Years served: 2012–2018 (House); 2018–Present (Senate)

Committee assignments: Appropriations I; Appropriations II (Vice-Chairperson); Criminal Law (Chairperson); Judiciary; Telecommunications & InfoTechnology; Subcommittee on Capital.

Biography: Attorney; born in Chicago; B.S., Political Science, Illinois State University; M.P.A., University of Illinois; J.D., Loyola University Chicago School of Law; married, has two children.

Associated Representatives:
Marcus C. Evans, Jr.
Nicholas K. Smith