Several top Republicans running for statewide office, including gubernatorial candidate Darren Bailey and candidates for attorney general and U.S. Senate, have signed a pledge to a self-proclaimed fringe group that is seeking to insert its far-right ideology into classrooms across the state. The pledge would require elected officials to make it easier to dismantle public education, ban books, sue school districts, marginalize LGBTQ students, and more. Chillingly, the pledge also targets the teaching of American history and prohibits teachers from discussing concepts such as “equity” and “racial justice.”
Illinois Republicans are falling further down the extremist rabbit hole, trying to give far-right politicians the ability to dictate what teachers can and cannot say in classrooms across the state. The Illinois GOP is now following the lead of Republican-held states nationwide in seeking to ban books, legislate bullying, and force their own right-wing ideology into public school classrooms.
This agenda dovetails with the Republican push to crack down on reproductive rights and severely curtail access to the ballot box, giving Illinois voters a glimpse into what a Republican-controlled Illinois might look like.
“Instead of focusing on cutting costs, supporting our education system, or safeguarding public health, Illinois Republicans seem to be more interested in banning books, defunding public schools, and inserting their extremist views into the classroom,” said Jake Lewis, Deputy Director of the Democratic Party of Illinois. “While the Illinois Republican Party moves even further to the right, Democrats have passed another balanced budget, led the state to its third credit upgrade, and fought to lower costs for all families. Illinois voters will not let the Republican Party roll back the clock on the progress our state has made.”