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Another state considers adding AAPI education standards

Ohio could soon join a growing list of states with Asian American and Pacific Islander history standards after Florida passed a bill last week.
Another state considers adding AAPI education standards
Posted at 1:33 PM, May 16, 2023

After Florida became the latest state to include Asian American and Pacific Islander history in its K-12 curriculum, lawmakers in Ohio are now considering similar provisions. 

Ohio lawmakers introduced House Bill 171 last week, which in addition to lessons on AAPI history, would also include lessons on "the migration journeys, experiences, and societal contributions of a range of communities in Ohio and the United States." Those groups would include African American, Jewish, Appalachian, Latin American and Native American communities. 

The bill stipulates that such lessons would be age and grade-appropriate. 

The bill has 13 cosponsors, all Democrats. 

SEE MORE: Florida schools will soon be required to teach AAPI history

The bill in Ohio has the support of Ohio Progressive Asian Women’s Leadership.

"It’s time to raise our consciousness and grow our individual and collective power as a community — especially for the next generation," the group wrote. "A dedicated team of OPAWL staff and members have been working hard for several months preparing to launch a campaign that will push for a social studies curriculum that centers our histories. This is our opportunity for OPAWL members, educators, allies, and students to pour our energies into a piece of legislation that finally centers our communities."

The group Asian Americans Advancing Justice has been advocating against bills that prohibit critical race theory from being taught in public schools. At the same time, it has been encouraging an expansion of AAPI history in schools. 

"All children deserve to see themselves and their stories represented in our history," AAAJ wrote in a 2022 report. "Being able to fully learn about Asian American history and tell our stories will also help diverse Asian American communities to learn more about each other, fostering intercommunity empathy and understanding among groups of people that are often treated as a monolith, yet carry with them generations of historical tensions, stereotypes, and misunderstandings. All Americans benefit from greater cultural understanding."

The legislation in Florida passed as part of a broader education bill. It had near unanimous support from lawmakers. 

The signing of the Florida bill coincides with Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

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