Maryland, Illinois Move on LGBTQ Education in Schools

Maryland, Illinois Move on LGBTQ Education in Schools

More states are joining the effort to require LGBTQ education in public schools.

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed into law a bill mandating state schools to teach students about LGBTQ history and lawmakers in Maryland say the state education officials are prepared to move forward with similar plans.

The new law in Illinois requires teachers to teach the roles and contributions of LGBTQ people in history. That measure also requires schools to publish a list of the textbooks that would be bought by schools for those lessons, and the bill states that schools will receive a grant to purchase those books.

Notably, the law also states that the textbooks cannot contain material that is discriminatory on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation.

Meanwhile, government officials in Maryland have indicated that the state’s Department of Education is prepared to proceed with requiring LGBTQ education in that state after Eric Luedtke, a state delegate in Maryland, penned a letter signed by 34 other delegates and 13 state senators.

In an August 13 tweet, Luedtke stated, “I’m very happy to share the news that MSDE is developing new history curriculum standards that will include the story of the LGBT and disability rights movements! Thanks to all my colleagues that added their names to our recent letter on the subject.”

A spokesperson for the Maryland Department of Education did not immediately return requests for details on the apparent plans in the state.

California, New Jersey, and Colorado have also required LGBTQ history to be taught in public schools.

New York City schools are not required to teach LGBTQ education in schools, but funding has been allocated to allow them to do so if they choose.