U.S. Senator Mazie Hirano (D-HI) along with Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY) have both reintroduced legislation in Congress to encourage the teaching of Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander history in public schools nationwide.
Known as the Teaching Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander History Act, the bill would increase awareness of this history so that more students would become aware of the contributions of AANHPI to the United States.
The Act falls short of mandating the teaching of this history. It would:
- Require grant applications from Presidential and Congressional Academies to include AANHPI history as part of their American history and civics programs offered to students and teachers;
- Encourage the inclusion of AANHPI history in national and state tests administered through the National Assessment of Educational Progress; and
- Promote collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution’s Asian Pacific American Center to develop innovative programming regarding AANHPI history.
Nearly 20 states have mandated the teaching of AANHPI curriculum in their schools. However, many of these states have not included funding for this requirement-leaving some wondering how the requirement would be implemented.
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