Harrisburg, Pa. – May 1, 2023 — In an effort to expand 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 (D-12 Montgomery) 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. The senators discussed their bill during an AAPI Heritage Month celebration at the capitol today.
“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,” said Senator Collett. “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.”
Senator Saval added: “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. 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.”
The legislation will be a companion to Representative Patty Kim’s HB 779 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.