House Passes Historic Legislation

May 23, 2019

The House of Representatives approved legislation Wednesday for including African-American, Puerto Rican and Latino studies in the public high school curriculum.

HB 7082 requires Connecticut’s boards of education to start offering the studies into the curriculum beginning Jan. 1, 2021, but does not mandate that students take the courses.

I believe that the bill will benefit all our students because of its inclusiveness. It will help some students identify with their cultural heritage and history while breaking down the barriers of prejudice that divide us.

The legislation received strong support from the state Department of Education, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford, advocacy organizations and students across Connecticut.

I want to thank my legislative colleagues, especially Sen. Doug McCrory (D-Hartford), Rep. Bobby Sanchez (D-New Britain), Rep. Bobby Gibson Jr. (D-Bloomfield, Windsor), Rep. Kathleen McCarty (D-Waterford, Montville) for their leadership in the passage of this important, bipartisan bill.

We live in a culturally diverse country and it is high time we learn all our histories that allows us to understand each other.

The bill will now be voted by the Senate.