Senate Republicans Push Legislation to Include Lao History in Education Curriculum

SACRAMENTO –Members of California Senate Republican Caucus recently voted in support of Assembly Bill 1393 which requires the Instructional Quality Commission to develop and adopt curriculum for Lao history and cultural studies to California’s K-12 schools by March 2023. Senate Bill 895 authored by former Senator Janet Nguyen (R-Fountain Valley) included the experiences of Vietnamese, Cambodian genocide, and Hmong history to California’s K-12 curriculum. With the passage of AB 1393, Laotian history and cultural studies will be added to the curriculum.

Senate Republican Leader Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield), Senator Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel), Senator Andreas Borgeas (R-Fresno), and Senator Ling Ling Chang (R-Diamond Bar), are co-authors of AB 1393. Senator Grove issued the following statement:

“California is ranked one of the top five states where there is a large Laotian American population. We need to recognize their important contributions to America’s history. While history books have educated our students about the struggle of the Vietnam War that lasted nearly three decades and left behind a trail of bloodshed, they barely mentioned the history of Laos and Cambodia.  Vietnam was always at the heart of that conflict, but the battlefield also extended to those two countries where the United States waged a Secret War with assistance from Laos.

“It is time to bring the Secret War out of the dark shadows and share the contributions of refugees from Laos in helping our nation fight during the Vietnam War,” said Senate Republican Leader Shannon Grove.  

“This is a historical moment for the Laotian American community. The inclusion of Laotian history further builds upon the rich and diverse educational curriculum in California’s schools. We are proud and thankful for the support of Senate Republicans and for your leadership,” said Pida Kongphouthone, Chairman of the Lao Advocacy Organization of San Diego (LAOSD) who is a sponsor of AB 1393.