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Wisconsin Board of Education passes bill to teach Asian American history in K-12 public schools

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Wisconsin Board of Education passes bill to teach Asian American history in K-12 public schools

wisconsinThe Senate Education Committee voted on the 28th to pass a bill requiring teaching in K-12 public schoolsAsianand the history of Hmong Americans. Although state lawmakers have introduced similar bills over the past 20 years, this would be the first legislation to be put to a full Senate vote.

“It makes students feel safer who don’t see themselves in their textbooks,” state Representative Francesca Hong, one of the lawmakers sponsoring the proposal, told NBC News. Being able to share your stories allows students, teachers, and administrators to. Understand the importance of Asian American stories in our history.”

The bill, SB240, would amend existing rules to include Asian and Hmong Americans in curricula that currently teach Native, African American, and Latino American history.

Wisconsin will join several other states that have passed similar laws, including Florida, Illinois andnew Jersey,

While Asian Americans in Wisconsin are a relatively small group, making up only 3% of the population, the group has grown significantly since 2000, increasing by 82%; In particular, the state has a large refugee population, particularly those of Hmong descent, who are the largest Asian American group in the state, accounting for 29%.

Still, Francesca Kang, who became the first Asian-American congresswoman from Wisconsin in 2020, pointed out that the process of pushing for legislation took decades; In 2005, congressmen introduced a bill to require Hmong soldiers to be taught how to fight during the Vietnam War. Americans and their resettlement. However, the bill never reached the initial public hearing stage, and later proposed similar legislation also failed. In 2019 and 2021, other bills similar to SB240 were proposed, but it was not until recently that the importance of the Asian American community began to resonate.

Francesca Kang said that voters also have a big motivation behind this. “After the COVID-19 pandemic, the Asian Pacific Islander (AAPI) Coalition was formed, so this legislation moved forward in large part due to the effective organizing work.” We’ve sent letters, made calls, emailed, we’ve had roundtable meetings with families and teachers who are advocating for this bill to legislators.

The state Senate is expected to vote on the bill in early March. If the bill passes, it will be presented to Governor Tony Evers for his signature.

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