Coal Curriculum To Continue In Illinois Schools

Apr 4, 2014

A group of lawmakers don't like the idea that Illinois students are forced to learn how great coal is.  But they failed in an effort to take that requirement out of state law.

Rep. David Harris, R-Arlington Heights, says the legislation would prevent the state from doing anything to promote coal.

Credit Dept. of Energy

"Well if you're from Southern Illinois, let me tell you something: this is an attack on coal," Harris said.

Rep. Deborah Conroy, D-Elmhurst, says Illinois has a lot of energy sources -- wind, nuclear, even geothermal -- and shouldn't promote just one.

"This simply takes away the mandate forcing schools to teach this. If it's important where you live, it can continue to be taught," Conroy said.

Coal is a major source of jobs in parts of Illinois. But environmentalists say there is no such thing as "clean coal."

Because the legislation failed to get enough votes, for now, coal remains on the curriculum.