A pair of Wisconsin bills could make it mandatory to include the history of Hmong and Asian Pacific Islander Desi Americans to the state public school curriculum.
Senate Bill 379 and Assembly Bill 381 would amend state law to require, “at all grade levels, an understanding of human relations, particularly with regard to American Indians, Black Americans and, Hispanics, Hmong Americans, and Asian Pacific Islander Desi Americans.”
Advocacy groups have expressed their support for the amended legislation.
“The fact is APIDA are not included and are invisible in many public policy resource decisions,” Lorna Young, AAPI Coalition of Wisconsin executive committee member, told NBC15. She added, it would “benefit all students so that as they move on to college and/or into the work world, they are able to learn to relate to and understand people of APIDA backgrounds that are different from their own.”
Rep. Francesca Hong (D – WI), one of the authors of the bills, said it is about “increasing visibility.”
“When other students learn about Asian American experiences, they are benefiting just as much as the Asian American students,” Hong told NBC.
Both bills have yet to get public hearings before a legislative committee.
Wisconsin has the third largest Hmong population in the U.S. behind Minnesota and California. After Hmong, the second and third largest Asian American groups in Wisconsin are Asian Indian and Chinese.
If passed, Wisconsin will become the third state to require Asian American history to be taught in public schools, while New Jersey, following Illinois’ lead, became the second state to do so with the passing of the NJ AAPI Curriculum Bill on Tuesday.
Featured Image via NBC15