(Jan 28) Legislature urged to require Holocaust education in Pa.

By Karen Langley and Richard Webner / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

HARRISBURG — Holocaust survivors and their advocates on Monday urged state lawmakers to require the teaching of Pennsylvania students about the systematic Nazi extermination of the Jews of Europe, as well as other genocides.

Legislators are considering versions of proposals on Holocaust education — the state House has approved legislation that would leave the topic optional, though require the Department of Education to establish curriculum guidelines on the topic. A Senate committee amended the bill so as to require education on the topic.

The effort to fully mandate Holocaust education faces opposition in the House, according to Republican spokesman Steve Miskin, who said many members do not want to impose an unfunded requirement on schools. The Pennsylvania State Education Association, the state’s largest teachers union, opposes the mandate version of the bill for the same reason.

A proposal under development by House Republicans would leave Holocaust education optional, but require the Department of Education to conduct a study in three years of which schools are incorporating the material, Mr. Miskin said.

Five states — New York, New Jersey, Florida, Illinois and California — require teaching of the Holocaust in schools, according to Rep. Brendan Boyle, D-Philadelphia, who has sponsored legislation to mandate the topic.

Full story: Legislature urged to require Holocaust education in Pa. Karen Langley and Richard Webner, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 1/27/14



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