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N.J. mandates teaching Asian and Pacific Islander American history in schools

New Jersey becomes the second state to sign teaching AAPI history into law, after Illinois last year.

Jan. 18, 2022, 1:42 PM PST / Updated Jan. 18, 2022,
6:58 PM PST
By Tat Bellamy-Walker

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New Jersey now requires Asian American and Pacific Islander history as part of its public school curriculum, the second state in the nation to do so.

Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat, signed the law Tuesday mandating school districts to teach students in grades K-12 starting in the 2022-2023 school year about the contributions of AAPIs. The bill’s signing comes after it was approved by the New Jersey Legislature in December and follows Illinois, which also signed similar legislation last year. 

Murphy said it’s critical for students to learn about the contributions of Asian Americans. The curriculum will be part of student learning standards statewide.

“The members of our Asian American/Pacific Islander community have contributed so much to our state and nation,” he said in a statement. “By teaching students about the history and heritage of our AAPI community, we can ensure that the diversity of our state is reflected in our curriculum and create a more tolerant and knowledgeable future for New Jersey. I am proud to sign these bills into law.”