Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HR0917
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Full Text of HR0917  99th General Assembly




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2    WHEREAS, 2014 marked the 60th anniversary of the 1954
3landmark United States Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board
4of Education, which found that "separate educational
5facilities are inherently unequal" and banned separate public
6schools for black and white students; and
7    WHEREAS, Despite this landmark ruling, many schools and
8districts throughout the United States have been alleged to
9still be "separate" due, in part, to racially and economically
10isolated housing patterns in many areas; and
11    WHEREAS, According to a 2013 Economic Policy Institute
12report entitled "For Public Schools, Segregation Then,
13Segregation Since", "[t]oday, African American students are
14more isolated than they were 40 years ago, while most education
15policymakers and reformers have abandoned integration as a
16cause"; and
17    WHEREAS, A considerable body of research indicates that
18racial and economic diversity in schools is one of the few
19education reforms that is proven to improve the educational
20achievement and life opportunities of minority and low-income
21children systemically; and



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1    WHEREAS, The best way to ensure that public educational
2resources are equitably distributed among all children is to
3allow all children access to the same resources in the same
4schools; and
5    WHEREAS, Diverse schools promote better educational
6outcomes and provide benefits for all students; research has
7confirmed that African-American and Hispanic students perform
8better on tests in schools that are diverse, while school
9diversity has no negative impact on the test scores of white
10students; in addition, studies have found that prolonged
11contact with racially diverse students may have significant
12effects on students' complex thinking, and a more diverse
13classroom environment encourages critical thinking in all
14students, as well as improves high school graduation and
15college matriculation rates for minority students at those
16schools; and
17    WHEREAS, Beyond educational benefits, diverse schools
18provide other societal advantages, including improving
19cross-racial understanding and reducing racial prejudice;
20diverse schools also improve the potential for reducing
21residential lack of diversity; and
22    WHEREAS, Diverse schools are linked to a host of positive
23learning outcomes for white students as well, including the



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1promotion of critical thinking and problem-solving skills and
2higher academic achievement; attending diverse schools is also
3linked to social and psychological advantages for white
4students, including more friendships across racial lines and
5higher levels of cultural competence, a critical advantage in
6the modern workplace and today's global economy; and
7    WHEREAS, Diverse schools are essential to prepare all
8children to live and work together in a nation in which
9African-Americans, Latinos, Asians, Native Americans, Pacific
10Islanders, and other non-whites will collectively comprise the
11majority of the United States population by 2042; therefore, be
15urge the Illinois State Board of Education to officially
16recognize the importance and benefits of school diversity and
17to set it as a priority when making decisions regarding
18admissions policies and practices, creation of new schools,
19school rezoning, and other pertinent decisions and to commit to
20having a strategy in each district for overcoming impediments
21to school diversity; and be it further
22    RESOLVED, That a suitable copy of this resolution be
23delivered to the Illinois State Board of Education.