A bill before the Illinois House that would have ended a mandate for the state to prepare and provide coal education materials for kids met sharp resistance from lawmakers and the coal industry, who claimed environmentalists were waging a “war on coal”.
This week, June 19-22, Illinois grade school teachers will gather at the Rend Lake Resort near Mount Vernon for the 15th annual Coal Education Conference sponsored by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. Each year, IDCEO spends up to $70,000 for this all-expense-paid teachers’ retreat. While our children’s teachers deserve to be recognized for their dedication and hard work, this particular retreat is nothing more than a corporate ploy to advance the coal industry’s “clean coal” message through grade school lesson plans at taxpayer expense.
A statewide coalition of community and environmental organizations, held a Chicago rally calling for the end of the state-subsidized, kids’ coal curriculum.
Illinois is distributing a teachers’ curriculum and on-line materials that offer a one-sided, inaccurate, view of coal, written on behalf of the industry.