(The Center Square) – A proposed measure in Springfield aims to set up a task force to examine how certain subjects are taught in Illinois schools.
SB 2354 would create the Redefining Science in Elementary Schools Task Force Act. The group would focus on identifying age-appropriate anatomy, physiology, and nutrition education materials at Illinois grade schools.
State Sen. Rachel Ventura, D-Joliet, explained the measure Tuesday before the Senate Education Committee.
“The task force shall identify age-appropriate education to add to the current curriculum for anatomy, physiology, and nutrition,” Ventura said. “This additional curriculum shall aim to empower students with the knowledge to adequately identify their own bodies.”
Ventura said the state has not done as good of a job as it could when teaching these subjects.
“Our current science system could do much better in teaching the sciences, especially when it comes to our bodies, so that we can have the information needed to make the best decisions for ourselves.
State Sen. Sue Rezin, R-Morris, said she worries this could force schools to teach sex ed.
“My concern is this could be an end-run through JCAR [Joint Committee on Administrative Rules] for force these schools who choose not to teach the sex-ed standards, to have to teach them,” Rezin said.
Rezin says the measure may be too much for some conservative belief systems.
“We have seen standards that have come through JCAR, that we’re seeing for the first time that is over and above what most of us would support, in terms of a more progressive agenda,” Rezin said.
The measure was unanimously passed through the committee, earning 11 “yes” votes. The legislation now awaits further action.