Pritzker signs legislation to add media literacy to high school curriculum | Illinois
(The Center Square) – Governor JB Pritzker signed legislation which amends the state school code to include a media literacy unit.
State Representative Elizabeth Hernandez, a Democrat, filed the invoice. Some Republicans have opposed the bill, fearing it will lead school boards to choose trustworthy media.
House Bill 234 requires school districts to add media education instruction.
State Sen. Karina Villa, Democrat and Senate lead sponsor for the new legislation, said that while students are online more than ever, they are still vulnerable to misinformation.
“The internet has become the main public place for young people, they debate and discuss politics and current affairs, but are also vulnerable to missing information,” Villa said.
The new legislation will be an addition to an already required introductory computer course, Villa said.
“Because this legislation is required for all schools in the state, HB 234’s requirement to add media literacy can easily be added to the basic computer literacy course already required,” Villa said. .
State Representative Adam Niemerg, a Republican, opposed House Bill 234. He called it a reactionary “anti-Trump, anti-conservative” bill, which he said is an attempt by the left “to get into our school systems at a young age.” and teach them mainstream media ways.
The Illinois Press Association and Illinois Association of School Library Educators along with dozens of schools filed witness files supporting the measure in May.
The Illinois Education Association, a union that represents more than 135,000 members, including teachers, did not take a position on the bill, according to testimony. The Illinois State Board of Education also did not take a position.
The legislation took effect immediately across the state.