Wisconsin passes bill requiring Hmong, Asian American history in schools

Wisconsin passes bill requiring Hmong, Asian American history in schools
via CDC on Unsplash
Michelle De Pacina
March 14, 2024
Wisconsin has passed a bill mandating the teaching of Hmong and Asian American history in schools. 
Key points:
Catch up:
  • In April 2023, Republican State Senator Jesse James of Altoona and other Wisconsin legislators introduced SB 240 as many students and teachers have been advocating for an Asian American studies curriculum in schools for years. The current state law only mandates instruction on American Indians, Black Americans and Hispanics. 
The details:
  • The bill’s passing comes amid the push for more Asian American history in school curricula aligned with broader efforts in the AAPI community to ensure comprehensive education on historical events.
  • Its passage is credited to relentless advocacy efforts, coalition building and the leadership of individuals like State Rep. Francesca Hong, Wisconsin’s first and only Asian American state legislator. Hong emphasized the importance of AAPI education not just for historical knowledge but for fostering understanding, acceptance and inclusion. 
  • Wisconsin is home to more than 200,000 AAPIs and a significant refugee population, particularly of Hmong descent. Hmong make up 29% of the Asian American population in the state, which is home to the third-largest Hmong population in the U.S. 
What’s next:
  • The bill awaits Gov. Tony Evers’ signature to become official law. Wisconsin will join several states, including Florida, Illinois and New Jersey, in implementing such mandates.
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