Ethnic studies bill signed into Vermont law

Published: Mar. 29, 2019 at 5:24 PM EDT
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Vermont Gov. Phil Scott signed an ethnic studies bill into law Friday-- the first bill signing of the current legislative session.

The law aims to make school learning materials more inclusive. It creates an Ethnic and Social Equity Standards Advisory Working Group. The panel will review standards for student performance and recommend updates to recognize the history, contributions and perspectives of ethnic and social groups.

Legislators and supporters packed the governor's ceremonial Statehouse office for the bill signing ceremony.

"We took this on and everybody in this room has a piece of this. And hopefully the children, the people we're hearing in the background, will benefit from this work," said Rep. Kevin Christie, D-Hartland.

"We come from many ethnic and racial backgrounds. We are intersectional and we are who made this happen," said Amanda Garces of the Vermont Coalition for Ethnic Studies and Social Equity in Schools.

The bill also looks to boost anti-bias staff training and professional development.