BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                  AB 199
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   March 30, 2011

                           ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION
                                Julia Brownley, Chair
                  AB 199 (Ma and Cook) - As Amended:  March 17, 2011
          SUBJECT  :   Social Science Instruction:  Filipinos in World War 

           SUMMARY  :  Expresses the encouragement of the Legislature that 
          instruction in social science includes the role of Filipinos in 
          World War II.  Specifically,  this bill  :  

          1)Encourages the instruction to include an accurate history of 
            the contributions of the Filipino American veterans who fought 
            courageously in the United States (U.S.) Army for freedom and 
            democracy in World War II, under the leadership of General 
            Douglas MacArthur.  

          2)Encourages the instruction to include a component drawn from 
            personal testimony, especially in the form of oral or video 
            histories of Filipinos who were involved in World War II and 
            those men and women who contributed to the war effort on the 
            homefront.  Encourages the oral histories to include the 

             a)   Exemplify the personal sacrifice and courage of the wide 
               range of ordinary citizens who were called upon to 
               participate and to provide intelligence for the U.S.

             b)   Contain the views and comments regarding the reasons for 
               their participation in the war.

             c)   Comments regarding the aftermath of the war and the 
               immigration of Filipinos to the U.S. 

           EXISTING LAW  :

          1)Requires instruction on World War II, the War in Vietnam, and 
            the "Secret War" in Laos.

          2)Encourages, under the existing course of study for 
            history/social science grades 7-12, the inclusion of 
            instruction on the Vietnam War, the "Secret War" in Laos, and 
            the role of Southeast Asians in those wars.


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          3)Encourages instruction in the causes, battles, and outcomes of 
            World War II, including personal testimony from individuals 
            involved in those wars.

          4)Stipulates that instructional programs be carried out in a 
            manner that does not result in any new programs or duties 
            imposed on school districts.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :  According to the Legislative Counsel, this bill 
          is non-fiscal.

           COMMENTS  :  This bill encourages the instruction in social 
          science to include an accurate history of the contributions of 
          the Filipino American veterans in the U.S. Army for freedom and 
          democracy in World War II, under the leadership of General 
          Douglas MacArthur.  When the U.S. entered World War II, the 
          Philippines was a territory of the U.S.  Filipino soldiers 
          fought for the U.S.; however, Filipino soldiers and their 
          survivors did not enjoy the same benefits as other soldiers and 
          their contributions to the war effort are largely unrecognized.  
          The author states, "For their service, the U.S. government 
          promised them the same health and pension benefits that were 
          rewarded to other U.S. soldiers.  However, after the war ended, 
          and the help from the Filipino soldier was no longer needed, 
          President Truman instated the Rescission Act of 1946, which only 
          offered benefits to a select group of Filipino veterans, and 
          excluded the Commonwealth Army of the Philippines, the 
          Recognized Guerilla Forces, and the New Philippine Scouts from 
          the benefits.  Even though they fought side by side, the 
          veterans that were denied benefits were also forgotten by the US 
          government, and largely lost from the pages of our history 
          books.  As our students learn about the heroic feats of our 
          soldiers, it's important to remember that there are many 
          soldiers left-out from the pages of history."  

          This bill is identical to earlier versions of AB 717 (Cook and 
          Ma), which was gutted and amended into a different bill in the 
          Senate in 2009, and AB 3084 (Cook and Ma), which was vetoed by 
          Governor Schwarzenegger in 2008 with the following message:  

          "While I respect the author's intent to recognize the role of 
          Filipinos who fought courageously in World War II, I have 
          consistently vetoed legislation that has attempted to include 
          specific details or events into areas of instruction.  The State 


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          Board of Education adopted content standards are developed by a 
          diverse group of experts and are intentionally broad in order to 
          allow coverage of various events, developments, and issues.  I 
          continue to believe that the State should establish rigorous 
          academic standards and frameworks, but refrain from being overly 
          prescriptive in specific school curriculum."

           Prior Legislation  .  This bill and variations of it, has been 
          introduced several other times in addition to AB 717 (2009) and 
          AB 3084 (2008).  AB 72 (Dymally) was vetoed by the Governor in 
          2007, AB 15 (Jerome Horton) vetoed in 2005 and AB 2512 (Jerome 
          Horton) vetoed in 2004. 


          American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees

          None on file
          Analysis Prepared by  :    Sophia Kwong Kim / ED. / (916) 319-2087