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WEA strongly supports ethnic studies legislation for WA public schools

03/19/2019
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WEA Lobby Day 2019 group
WEA members go to Olympia to support our students

WEA supports legislation that would create ethnic studies curriculum for Washington school districts.

Substitute Senate Bill 5023 already passed the state Senate on a bipartisan vote of 43-5. Now it’s in the House Education Committee.

According to the official bill report, SSB 5023:

  1. Requires the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) to identify and make available ethnic studies materials and resources for use in grades 7 through 12.
  2. Directs the OSPI to convene an advisory committee to advise, assist, and make recommendations regarding the identification of ethnic studies materials and resources, and to develop a framework to support teaching of ethnic studies to students in grades 7 through 12.

“WEA unequivocally supports SSB 5023 and will continue to advocate for actions that help students of color to succeed in school,” said Kim Mead, WEA president. “We know that when students see themselves, experiences and cultures in the classroom they are more engaged in learning, which translates to academic success.”

WEA lobbyist Simone Boe testified in support of the bill March 18, telling committee members: “This bill is timely. Students and educators around the country have really been working to include the stories of diverse ethnicities who have contributed to the rich history and culture of our country.”

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