Harrisburg, Pa. − May 31, 2022 − In an effort to improve education and fight the recent rise in bias crimes against people of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) descent in the Commonwealth, State Senators Maria Collett (D12-Montgomery/Bucks) and Nikil Saval (D-1 Philadelphia) have circulated a memorandum for co-sponsorship for legislation that would commission and urge schools to incorporate AAPI curriculums and materials.
“As Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month comes to an end, our work to combat centuries of bias is just beginning,” said Sen. Collett. “I’ve received many messages from Asian American constituents expressing concerns about their safety in light of recent attacks, sharing their experiences with discrimination, and calling out for education to address prejudices before they take root. This legislation is a critical first step.”
Sen. Saval added: “This legislation will begin to make visible the experiences of Asian Americans so that all of us can see—in each other’s experiences—our shared hopes, our shared struggles, and our shared joys. It will begin to make visible the full history of Asian American history, that stretches back beyond the formal beginnings of the United States.”
The legislation will be a companion to Representative Patty Kim’s HB 1917 and would require the Department of Education to create an integrated curriculum that includes AAPI persons, history, and contributions to American society and to provide AAPI-related materials to schools. This bill would also commission a study by the State Board of Education to see how school districts in Pennsylvania are teaching AAPI curriculum across the state and ensure our students are receiving robust instruction on AAPI history and social contributions.