Senator VillivalamSPRINGFIELD – To protect the wellbeing of public school employees, State Senator Ram Villivalam (D-Chicago) passed legislation in the Illinois Senate that would offer the same terms and conditions as the federal Family and Medical Leave Act.

“Illinois should expand access to family and medical leave for working families,” Villivalam said. “Our educators and school staff work on the frontlines every day to provide a quality education for our youth and deserve their leave with no strings attached.”

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Category: Press Releases

Originally published in Injustice Watch on May 25, 2021.

Illinois is poised to become the first state to require that public schools teach their students the history of Asian Americans, who have endured an increase in anti-Asian hate crimes amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Illinois Senate passed the Teaching Equitable Asian American Community History Act, known as the TEAACH Act, by a unanimous vote of 57-0 on Tuesday. The legislation, introduced in January by Illinois State Rep. Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz, D-Glenview, passed the state House in April. The House has to approve a Senate amendment before it will head to Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s desk for his signature.

The bill would require every elementary and high school in the state to devote a unit of curriculum to the history of Asian Americans in the United States, including in Illinois and the Midwest. School districts would have until the start of the 2022-2023 school year to comply.

The TEAACH Act requires schools to include in U.S. history courses the role that Asian Americans have played in advancing civil rights and highlight their contributions to the country’s development.

State Sen. Ram Villivalam, D-Chicago, who sponsored the bill in the Senate, said education is one part of a “multipronged” strategy to tackle the rise in discrimination against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Addressing the issue will also require better hate crime reporting, more representation in government, and training people to be better bystanders who intervene when they witness anti-Asian harassment, he said.

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Category: In The News

Senator VillivalamIllinois would be the first state in the country to require a unit on Asian American history in public schools

SPRINGFIELD -- May 25, 2021 -- The TEAACH Act, a bill that would require public elementary and high schools in Illinois to incorporate a unit on Asian American history, passed out of the Illinois State Senate with a unanimous vote of 57-0 on Tuesday.

HB376, the TEAACH (Teaching Equitable Asian American Community History) Act, would create the first state requirement of its kind in the country, ensuring that Illinois public school students learn about key topics in Asian American history, such as the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. The bill is spearheaded by the nonprofit organization Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Chicago in part in response to the sharp rise in hate incidents against Asian Americans in 2020 around the country.

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Category: Press Releases

Senator VillivalamSPRINGFIELD – To uphold the rights of working people, State Senator Ram Villivalam (D-Chicago) introduced a Constitutional amendment that would ban “Right to Work” legislation in Illinois.

“Workers in all industries should have the right to organize and bargain for better wages and conditions,” Villivalam said. “Illinois is one of the last bastions of the labor movement, and we must act to preserve and protect it.”

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Category: Press Releases

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