Democratic State Senators Collett and Saval Push for AAPI Curriculum in Pennsylvania Schools

The effort to ensure the state’s “education system reflects all of our peoples’ histories” hopes, in part, to combat rising bigotry against this community.
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May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Month and State Senators Maria Collett (D-12) and Nikil Saval (D-1) announced plans to introduce legislation to raise awareness of AAPI achievements by incorporating their history into public school curriculum in an effort to combat bigotry and animosity toward the community.

Hate crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have been steadily rising in Pennsylvania, surging 339 percent nationwide from 2020 to 2021, according to NBC.

READ: Asian American History Must Be Taught in Schools

“I’m committed to working with AAPI communities in my district and across the Commonwealth to ensure they feel safe and have access to the resources they need to thrive,” Senator Collett said in a press release. “This legislation is a critical first step to addressing prejudices before they take root and ensuring our education system reflects all of our peoples’ histories.”

A companion bill, HB-779, introduced by Representative Patty Kim (D-103) in March, would compel the creation of AAPI curriculum by the PA Department of Education.

Kim’s legislation would also commission a study by the Board of Education to determine details as to how AAPI studies are being provided in school districts throughout the state.

“This legislation will begin to make visible the lives 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,” said Senator Saval in the release. “It will begin to make visible that Asian American history is, simply, American history, stretching back further than the formal beginnings of the United States.”

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Jenny Stephens

Jenny Stephens is a freelance journalist who has written for a variety of publications, including The Reporter. An avid collector of all things vintage, she resides in the Philadelphia area.

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