New York: Indian-American Pennsylvania state senator Nikil Saval has introduced a bill to incorporate Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) courses in K-12 schools.
Saval introduced Senate Bill 839 along with Senator Maria Collett last week to expand education and confront the rise in bias crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
The legislation 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 in the US state of Pennsylvania.
“Every student in our Commonwealth deserves the opportunity to see their heritage honoured as part of the broad fabric of the American experience,” said Senator Saval.
“When we are granted occasion to learn about each other’s lives, families, and histories, we begin to see how much we share, and how deep our stake is in a world that supports all of us. It is only then that we can stand together, in solidarity, and work to build that world.”
The 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.
In addition, it will ensure that the students are receiving robust instruction on AAPI history and social contributions.
“I’ve received many messages from constituents expressing safety concerns given the rise of attacks on Asian Americans since COVID and calling for education to address these prejudices before they take root,” said Senator Collett.
“This bill is an important first step to make sure our education system reflects all of our peoples’ histories,” Collett added.
According to the most recent Stop AAPI Hate National Report, Pennsylvania ranked seventh for hate incident reports filed between March 2020 and December 2021.
Florida, ranked eighth, became the latest state to pass AAPI-inclusive curriculum legislation into law in May 2023.