SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – To ensure education in Illinois reflects the diversity of the state, state Rep. Maura Hirschauer, D-Batavia, sponsored a new state law that requires Asian American history to be added to the school curriculum.

“This historic measure will make Illinois the first state in the country to require Asian American history to be taught in schools,” said Hirschauer. “We are in an unfortunate time when people of Asian descent are facing discrimination solely based on their ethnicity. This bill will not only work to combat discrimination against Asian Americans, but also ensure that people of every background in Illinois are recognized for their contributions in national and world history.” 

The Hirschauer-backed House Bill 376, also known as the Teaching Equitable Asian American History Act, was recently signed into law by Gov. J.B. Pritzker after receiving strong bipartisan support in both chambers of the General Assembly. Starting with the 2022-2023 school year, all public elementary and high school students will be required to complete a unit on Asian American history, including the history of Asian Americans in the Midwest and Illinois.

“Asian American history is American history,” said Hirschauer. “This legislation will not only better educate our youth, but also give Asian American students the chance to see their culture represented in the classroom. I am happy to see this much-needed legislation signed into law.”

Rep. Maura HirschauerRep. Maura Hirschauer

(D-Batavia)
49th District

Springfield Office:
276-S Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-1653

District Office:
946 Neltnor Blvd #108
West Chicago IL 60185

The post Hirschauer-Backed Legislation to Teach Asian American History Signed into Law appeared first on Illinois House Democratic Caucus.

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Parents of students with special needs would receive additional information about state programs for which their child may be eligible

under legislation introduced by state Rep. Maura Hirschauer, D-Batavia.  

“Many teachers and school staff already do a wonderful job of connecting special needs families with resources to help their child inside and outside the classroom, but this should be uniform across all school districts,” said Hirschauer. “Registering with the PUNS database is the first step families can take to receive developmental disability services, so it’s important that they know it exists and how to sign up.”

Hirschauer introduced House Bill 290, which requires school districts to notify parents of students with individualized education programs (IEPs) that their child may be eligible to receive services by registering with Illinois’ PUNS database. PUNS stands for Prioritization for Urgency of Need for Services and is a statewide database from which individuals are selected for services as funding becomes available. Under Hirschauer’s bill, families would receive a copy of the Illinois Department of Human Services’ ‘Understanding PUNS’ guide during their initial meeting with school officials to develop a student’s IEP and once a year after that. The guide is also available for download at https://www.dhs.state.il.us/OneNetLibrary/27897/documents/Brochures/4313.pdf.
 
“While not every student with an IEP will be eligible for state services, it’s still beneficial for them to understand the PUNS enrollment process in case their needs change over time,” said Hirschauer. “I am hopeful that my legislation will help more families access critical services and supports both now and in the future.”

Hirschauer passed House Bill 290 out of the House, and it now moves to the Senate for consideration. 

“I am hopeful that my legislation will help more families access critical services and supports both now and in the future.”

 

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Maura Portrait

 

Students and school personnel would receive advance notice of planned active shooter drills

under legislation introduced by state Rep. Maura Hirschauer, D-Batavia, aimed at preventing psychological impacts from these training simulations.

“It’s scary and heartbreaking that our reality necessitates preparing teachers and young children for how to respond if an attacker barges into their classroom with a gun,” said Hirschauer. “While there’s a need for law enforcement to train for real emergencies that we all hope never occur, drills that are overly realistic can be extremely traumatizing for children. My bill keeps the well-being of students and staff at the heart of school lockdown drills by taking a trauma-informed approach to these situations.”

Hirschauer, a longtime volunteer with Moms Demand Action, is sponsoring House Bill 2400 to address how lockdown drills affect children. The measure specifies that school shooter drills must be age and developmentally appropriate, include school-based mental health professionals and be announced in advance, with an option for parents and guardians to exempt their child from participating. Under current state law, schools and law enforcement agencies are required to conduct a lockdown drill within the first 90 days of the school year.

“We must continue to do everything in our power to protect students from the physical threat of school shootings, but we can’t jeopardize their mental health in the process,” said Hirschauer. “I am committed to removing the harmful impacts of active shooter drills and making sure they’re conducted in a more effective way.”

“We must continue to do everything in our power to protect students from the physical threat of school shootings, but we can’t jeopardize their mental health in the process”

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HB2400 – School Law Enforcement Drills FactSheet

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