CATEGORY: GOVERNMENT PROJECTS: STATE
From left: Sen. Kimberly Lightford, Gov J.B. Pritzker, and Rep. Carol Ammons
Source: Mike Miletich, WAND
Read time: 1.9 minutes
The Illinois state legislature passed a law mandating the creation of a Child Adversity Index survey, training for teachers and school board members on trauma-informed practices, and a committee that will determine how data collection is rolled out.
The new law took effect January 1, 2024.
Who Did This?
The Illinois state legislature, led by the House sponsor, Carol Ammons (D), and Senate sponsor, Kimberly Lightford (D). Governor J.B. Pritzker (D) signed it into law.
The new mandates are based on the theory that exposure to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) causes a host of medical illnesses and mental problems, including permanent changes to the brain, commission of crimes, poverty, poor learning, and a huge range of other disadvantages.
Activists believe that collecting data on ACEs and implementing trauma-informed practices will somehow either prevent ACEs or remediate the impact of ACEs.
The new Illinois law, Public Act 103-0413, essentially did six things.
(1) The Department of Education must create a Children’s Adversity Index for children 3 through 18 years of age by May 31, 2025.
(2) Days allowed for teacher training, called teacher institutes, must include instruction on trauma-informed practices and include this law’s definitions of trauma and trauma-responsive learning environments starting with the 2024-2025 school year.
(3) All school board members, beginning with the 2023-2024 school year, must receive four hours training on trauma-informed practices, which may include the concept of implicit bias.
(4) In-service trainings that are required for teachers must now include trauma-informed practices, and may include the concept of implicit bias.
(5) Licensure for teachers will require demonstrated proficiency in ACEs, trauma, secondary traumatic stress, and creating trauma-responsive learning environments or communities by October 1, 2024.
(6) The Whole Child Task Force was charged with an array of tasks to codify how the child adversity index data will be collected and reported, and other related reforms needed to shift resources and procedures.
The research evidence does not support the premise of the ACE theory. Since Dr. Vincent Felitti’s initial 1998 ACE study, one hundred percent of the ACE studies that have been cited by activists are cross-sectional studies, which have zero power to make causal conclusions. It is almost certain that these efforts at data collection and training educators will not improve children’s well-being.
Why Is This Happening?
Activists have been relentlessly pushing the ACEs agenda for years, and are finally succeeding at passing state-wide laws. California was the first. The activism is based on the moral foundation of progressive liberals that care for the disadvantaged trumps other moral concerns (such as tradition, loyalty, patriotism, and liberty) and that human nature is almost completely molded by life experiences instead of genetics.
The task force shall reconvene by March 2027 to review progress. It is probably a foregone conclusion that these data collections and trainings are a prelude to the inevitable recommendation for expansion of new government social welfare entitlement programs to address ACEs.
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