The bill, S-4021, would require a board of education to include instruction on the history and contributions of AAPI individuals, develop policies and procedures to select the curriculum of students in grades K-12, and adopt inclusive instructional materials that portray the cultural and economic diversity of the AAPI community.
“Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have made great contributions to American history and our children’s’ curriculum should reflect this,” said Senator Gopal (D-Monmouth). “By expanding the cultural enrichment that is taught in our classrooms, students can have a better understanding for their peers and others. The United States is an ever-growing melting pot and our public education reflect this, it is far overdue.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a significant rise in anti-Asian racism and violence. Activists and lawmakers throughout the U.S. have been pushing to establish AAPL curriculums in schools to address the racism and lack of cultural education and understanding. Asian American and Pacific Islanders represent 10% of New Jersey’s population and are the fastest growing racial group in the state.
The legislation was released from committee by a vote of 6-0.