CHICAGO – October 10, 2009. Governor Pat Quinn and Rep. Elizabeth Hernandez today raised awareness of a new law that requires the history of the United States taught in public schools reinforce the role and contributions of Hispanics.
“I salute Representative Hernandez for her work championing this important legislation,” Governor Quinn said. “The new law ensures that U.S. History is taught accurately to our students and emphasizes the important contributions of Hispanics throughout our nation’s history.”
Senate Bill 1557, sponsored by Senator William Delgado (D-Chicago) and Representative Elizabeth Hernandez (D-Cicero), was passed overwhelmingly with bipartisan support.
The bill amends Section 27-21 of the School Code by providing that curriculum on the history of the United States is to reinforce the study of the role and contributions of Hispanics, including on issues such as the events related to the forceful removal and illegal deportation of Mexican-American U.S. citizens during the Great Depression.
“It was alarming to learn how Hispanics Americans were treated during the Great Depression, and that it has gone unreported for so many years,” Rep. Hernandez said. “It’s critical that this period in history be taught in our schools so that we can learn from the mistakes of the past.”
Section 27-21 of the School Code currently requires U.S. History to be taught in all public schools, and further outlines that curriculum must include the role and contributions of various peoples and ethnic groups.
The bill is effective as of January 1, 2010.