Wisconsin Senate passes genocide education requirement

Wisconsin Capitol in Madison

Schools would have to provide instruction on the Holocaust and other genocides under a bipartisan bill the state Senate approved Tuesday.

Under the proposal, public schools, charter schools and private voucher schools would have to include instruction on the Holocaust and other genocides at least once in grades 5-8 and once in grades 9-12.

The state superintendent would develop model curricula in consultation with an organization in Wisconsin and state agency in another state that has developed such curricula. The bill does not name an organization or state agency.

Five school-related associations, including school administrators and school business officials, have registered as neutral on the bill, according to the state Ethics Commission. The Wisconsin Catholic Conference, the Wisconsin Council of Churches and the Wisconsin Education Association Council, the state teachers union, have registered in support. No groups have registered against the bill.

The Senate approved the bill on a voice vote. It goes next to the Assembly.

Sen. Lena Taylor, a Black Democrat from Milwaukee, tried to amend the bill to include instruction on the transatlantic slave trade but the move failed on a 13-19 vote.

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