Today's Law As Amended


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AB-1393 Pupil instruction: model curriculum: Laotian history and cultural studies.(2019-2020)



As Amends the Law Today


SECTION 1.
 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) The State of California is committed to providing excellent educational opportunities to all of its diverse pupils.
(b) There are 92 languages other than English spoken throughout the state, with the primary languages being Arabic, Armenian, Cantonese, Hmong, Iu Mien, Korean, Lao, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese.
(c) There is a growing body of academic research that shows the importance of culturally meaningful and relevant curriculum, which positively impacts pupil educational achievement.
(d) The state’s educational standards should be guided by core values of equity, inclusiveness, and universally high expectations.
(e) The state is committed to its obligation to ensure its youth are college prepared and career ready, while graduating 100 percent of its pupils.
(f) The implementation of various culturally relevant courses within California’s curriculum that are A–G approved, with the objective of preparing all pupils to be global citizens with an appreciation for the contributions of multiple cultures, will close the achievement gap, reduce pupil truancy, increase pupil enrollment, reduce dropout rates, and increase graduation rates.
(g) The state recognizes the importance of teaching its pupils the complete and accurate history of the Vietnam War, also known as the Second Indochina War, which cost more than 58,000 American lives and took place in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos.
(h) The state acknowledges that during the war, the American people were not informed about the Secret War in Laos in which Laotian civilians and the Royal Lao Army special forces, known as the “Special Guerrilla Units,” supported the American covert war efforts in Laos, and recognizes the need to accept and include this war in United States history.
(i) For the past 40 years, Laotian American refugees have enriched the social, cultural, and economic landscape of California and have achieved success in many professional fields, including entertainment, the military, medicine, business, law, science, education, literature, journalism, and sports. This includes the highly decorated Lao American United States Navy Expeditionary Warfare Specialist John Douangdara, who served our country with distinction and was killed in action while serving with Seal Team 6 in Afghanistan.
(j) Sections 33540.2, 33540.4, and 33540.6 of the Education Code require, among other things, that the Instructional Quality Commission develop and submit to the State Board of Education a model curriculum relative to the history of the Vietnamese, Cambodian, and Hmong refugees, but those sections omit the history of Laotian refugees of other ethnic groups, such as the Lao, Iu Mien, Khmu, Phutai, Tai Lue, Tai Dam, and Tai Deng.
(k) The state recognizes the importance of teaching K–12 pupils the complete and accurate history of the war refugee experiences.
(l) The state encourages the participation of pupils, community members, and members of California Laotian American communities in the development of a model curriculum that recognizes the importance of survivors of the Secret War in Laos, particularly Laotian American refugees who were members of the Royal Lao Army.
(m) The state currently encourages the incorporation of survivor, rescuer, liberator, and witness oral testimony into the teaching of human rights, the Holocaust, and genocide, including the Armenian, Cambodian, Darfur, and Rwandan genocides.
(n) Currently, the instructional resources available for use in California public schools do not include sufficient oral testimonies from survivors of the Secret War in Laos.
(o) The state acknowledges the need to elevate tragic personal stories like those of the Laotian refugees, after the fall of the Royal Lao Government in 1975, who risked their lives escaping communism and spent years in refugee camps enduring starvation, diseases, and dehumanization.
(p) The state acknowledges the importance of the history and experiences of members of the Royal Lao Army and Laotian civilians who were sent to reeducation camps after the fall of the Royal Lao Government in 1975.
(q) The state acknowledges that oral histories can help pupils better relate to and understand different perspectives in curriculum by providing first-person accounts from individuals who have experienced some of the most tragic times in international history, helping the subject become more than statistics on a page.
(r) California is home to the largest Laotian population outside of Laos.
(s) It is in the best interest of all people and the future of the state to ensure that each school district, county office of education, and charter school has access to a model curriculum and culturally accurate instructional materials relative to the Laotian American history, refugee experiences, and communities in California and the United States.

SEC. 2.

 Section 33540.6 of the Education Code is amended to read:

33540.6.
 (a) The department shall, no later than May 1, 2022, in collaboration with, and subject to the approval of, the executive director of the state board, use the funding appropriated pursuant to Section 156 of Chapter 44 of the Statutes of 2021 to enter into a contract with a county office of education or a consortium of county offices of education for the purposes of developing a model curriculum related to Hmong history and cultural studies by September 1, 2024. The model curriculum shall be housed on the platform developed and maintained by the California History-Social Science Project. The designated county office of education or consortium of county offices of education shall work with the California History-Social Science Project and Teaching California to ensure that the curriculum is accessible and compatible with the platform.
(b) (a)  The county office of education or consortium of county offices of education shall ensure the inclusion of authentic voices and perspectives in the development of the model curriculum and shall provide multiple opportunities for authentic stakeholder engagement across the state, which shall include, but not be limited to, town halls or other input sessions and surveys. The county office of education or consortium of county offices of education shall consult with  commission shall develop, and the state board shall adopt, modify, or reject, a model curriculum in Hmong and Laotian history and cultural studies. In developing the model curriculum, the commission shall solicit input from  representatives of Hmong and Laotian  advocacy, community, social, and cultural organizations; Hmong and Laotian refugees and descendants of those refugees, including surviving members of the Royal Lao Army and descendants of those members;  faculty of Hmong and Laotian  studies programs at universities and colleges; members of the commission; representatives of local educational agencies; and teachers, including  and local educational agencies. A majority of the individuals with whom the commission consults shall be  teachers of kindergarten or grades 1 to 12, inclusive, who have relevant experiences or educational backgrounds in the study and  of history or social science, and shall include teachers who have relevant experiences or educational backgrounds in the  teaching of Hmong and Laotian  studies. The model curriculum shall identify the ways in which the model curriculum aligns with, and is supportive of, the common core academic content standards and of the goals of the curriculum framework in history-social science adopted by the state board in 2016.
(c) (b)  The model curriculum shall include examples of courses offered by local educational agencies that have been approved as meeting the A–G admissions requirements of the University of California and the California State University, including, to the extent possible, course outlines for those courses.
(d) (c)  The model curriculum shall address, but shall not necessarily be limited to, all of the following:
(1) The history of the Hmong and Laotian  people who lived in Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, and China.
(2) The history of the Hmong and Laotian  migration to the United States and California, as well as other parts of the world.
(3) Cultural beliefs, practices, and traditions of the Hmong and Laotian  people, including, among other things, Hmong  those surrounding Hmong and Laotian  New Year celebrations, marriages, newborns, and funerals.
(4) Contributions of the Hmong and Laotian  people to California and the United States.
(5) The contributions and sacrifices of the Lao-Hmong  Hmong, Laotian,  and other Southeast Asians who served in the “Secret Army” in Laos, which was funded by the United States Central Intelligence Agency. Agency and the Royal Lao Army. 
(e) (d)  The model curriculum shall be written as a guide to allow school districts, charter schools, and county offices of education to adapt their related courses to best meet the educational needs of their communities. The model curriculum developed for use in high schools shall include examples of courses offered by local educational agencies that have been approved as meeting the A–G admissions requirements of the University of California and the California State University, including, to the extent possible, course outlines for those courses. commission shall hold a minimum of two public hearings in order for the public to provide input on the model curriculum. The public hearings required by this subdivision shall be held pursuant to the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act (Article 9 (commencing with Section 11120) of Chapter 1 of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code). 
(e) The commission shall provide a minimum of 45 days for public comment before submitting the model curriculum to the state board.
(f) The county office of education or consortium of county offices of education may subcontract with a nonprofit organization or institution of higher education in the development of the model curriculum pursuant to this section. On or before December 31, 2023, the commission shall submit the model curriculum to the state board for adoption, and the state board shall adopt, modify, or reject the model curriculum on or before March 31, 2024. 
(g) If the state board rejects the model curriculum, the state board shall transmit to the Superintendent, the Governor, and the appropriate policy and fiscal committees of the Legislature a specific written explanation of the reasons for the rejection of the model curriculum.
(g) (h)  The county office of consortium or county offices of education shall submit a report annually, until the completion Following the adoption  of the model curriculum, on its progress in the development of the model curriculum, to the appropriate fiscal and policy committees of the Legislature and to the state board. the Superintendent shall post the model curriculum on the department’s internet website for use on a voluntary basis by educators. 
(h) (i)  Beginning in the school year following the completion adoption  of the model curriculum, local educational agencies are encouraged to use the model curriculum to provide instruction in kindergarten and grades 1 to 12, inclusive.
(i) (j)  Beginning in the school year following the completion adoption  of the model curriculum, each local educational agency maintaining any of grades 9 to 12, inclusive, that does not otherwise offer a standards-based Hmong or Laotian  studies curriculum is encouraged to offer to all otherwise qualified pupils a course of study in Hmong and Laotian  studies based on the model curriculum.
(j) (k)  It is the intent of the Legislature that local educational agencies submit course outlines for Hmong and Laotian  studies for approval as A–G courses.
(k) For purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:
(1) (l)  “Local  For purposes of this section, “local  educational agency” means a school district, county office of education, or charter school.
(m) For purposes of this section, “Laotian” includes, but is not limited to, the Lao, Iu Mien, Khmu, Phutai, Tai Lue, Tai Dam, and Tai Deng ethnic groups.
(2) (n)  “Model curriculum” means lesson plans, primary source documents, planning resources, teaching strategies, and professional development activities to assist teachers in teaching about Hmong history pursuant to subdivision (d) and shall be open source and accessible to educators across the state and shall include curriculum and online instructional modules appropriate for use in elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools. The implementation of this section is subject to the receipt of grants, donations, or other financial support from private or public sources for its purposes, including, but not limited to, an appropriation in the annual Budget Act or another statute.