Advocates push for bill requiring AAPI history be taught in New Jersey K-12 curriculum

New Jersey Education Bill

Advocates like Make Us Visible New Jersey are promoting a K-12 AAPI school curriculum throughout the state.

The demands: Make Us Visible New Jersey sent out a newsletter last week inviting citizens to support the passage of Assembly bill A6100, which requires students be taught AAPI history and contributions, at a rally on Monday.

  • The rally took place on Dec. 6 at 3 p.m. and started outside Grace Ministry Church in Cherry Hill, the hometown of Assembly Education Committee Chair Pamela Lampitt.
  • Despite the fact that the companion Senate bill S4021 passed last week, advocates are raising awareness about the Assembly bill because it also needs to be passed in order to make the AAPI education curriculum into law.
  • Make Us Visible New Jersey asked supporters to contact their local representatives and ask to include a vote on the bill on the Assembly Education Committee meeting agenda for Dec. 9.
  • They said that if A6100 is not on the agenda or passed during the Dec. 9 meeting, it can not be voted on the Assembly floor on Dec. 16. Then, both S4021 and A6100 will have to be reintroduced, passed again through the committee and maybe passed by the Senate and Assembly.
  • “We will have to start the process all over again,” the newsletter read.

The bill: A huge concern for those in support of Assembly bill A6100 is the effect that lack of AAPI education has on bullying in schools.

  • “There is a human cost to delaying this bill for our children who are facing bullying now,” the newsletter read. “Our kids are kids only once.”
  • Citing the latest Stop AAPI Hate report, Make Us Visible New Jersey declared one in three AAPI parents report that their children have faced a hate incident in school. 
  • They believe the need for the bill is urgent and will help prevent further racially motivated bullying.
  • Assembly bill A6100 is currently sponsored by 22 New Jersey representatives.
  • According to the Legiscan, the bill “requires school districts to provide instruction on history and contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders as part of implementation of New Jersey Student Learning Standards in Social Studies.”

In November, New Jersey governor Phil Murphy signed into law a 30-person AAPI Committee within the Department of State, according to NorthJersey.com. The group will oversee issues prevalent in the state’s AAPI population. New Jersey is home to one of the largest populations of AAPI in the U.S.

Featured Image via Unsplash (right) Make Us Visible NJ (left)

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