PRESS RELEASE: HOUSE GIVES FINAL APPROVAL TO ETHNIC STUDIES BILL
For Immediate Release
February 1, 2019
Contact: Katherine Levasseur
Office of the Speaker of the House
HOUSE GIVES FINAL APPROVAL TO ETHNIC STUDIES BILL
Montpelier, VT - Today, the House gave unanimous approval to H.3, the Ethnic Studies Bill. This bill creates an Ethnic and Social Equity Standards Advisory Working Group that will set standards and review student performance in order to accurately represent various ethnic and social groups in Vermont schools.
“Our education system is top notch. Our administrators, teachers, and education professionals do extraordinary work. Yet recent evidence suggests students of historically marginalized ethnic and social groups face greater challenges and barriers to educational success,” said Representative Dylan Giambatista, (D-Essex), a sponsor of the bill. “To provide equity, we must see, hear, learn from, and grow with people who have been minimized or written out of our textbooks and classrooms. This bill is a first step to move all of our citizens into our textbooks, into our classrooms, and into students’ hearts and minds where the seeds of learning are planted.”
“The fundamental idea is that there’s a lot missing from the history books,” added Representative Kevin “Coach” Christie (D-Hartford), one of the bill’s sponsors. “Here in Vermont, we have an opportunity to really be a leader in racial justice, and the unanimous approval of this bill shows that our brave little state is an inclusive one.”
“This bill gives a stronger voice to racial, ethnic and indigenous groups, women, LGBTQIA people, individuals who experience disabilities, and groups that have been historically subject to persecution or genocide,” said Representative Jill Krowinski (D-Burlington).
“The working group will aid Vermont schools in properly addressing and reducing bias, harassment, and disproportionate patterns of discipline of students from marginalized ethnic and social groups. We are constantly working to better our education system and this bill gives our students access to a fuller, more accurate representation of history while shaping the culture in our schools to be even more inclusive and accessible to all Vermonters,” added Speaker of the House Mitzi Johnson (D-South Hero).