Illinois on Friday became the first US state to require Asian-American history taught in public schools. Governor JB Pritzker signed the Teaching Equitable Asian American History Act. It is set to go into effect on January 1.

This development comes amid rising concerns about violence against people of Asian descent in the United States

“Today, we are reaffirming our commitment to creating more inclusive classrooms by making Illinois the first state in the nation to require Asian American history be taught in public schools,” Pritzker tweeted after signing the bill.

“We are setting a new standard for what it means to truly reckon with our history. It’s a new standard that helps us understand one another, and, ultimately, to move ourselves closer to the nation of our ideals,” the Governor further added.

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The new bill mandates the teaching of a unit of Asian-American history in the public elementary and high school curriculum starting in the 2022-2023 school year. It also requires the schools to teach the events of Asian American history, the contributions of Asian Americans in advancing civil rights since the 19th century and contributions made by individual Asian Americans in government and the arts, humanities, and sciences.

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The bill was led by Asian Americans Advancing Justice in Chicago, an advocacy group, and its supporters since early 2020. However, it was after the attacks on Asian women in Atlanta this year that the bill gained traction.

The bill, however, says that each school board should determine the “minimum amount of instructional time” needed to qualify as a unit and satisfy the law, CNN reports.