BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    






                         SENATE COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION
                             Alan Lowenthal, Chair
                           2011-2012 Regular Session
                                        

          BILL NO:       AB 199
          AUTHOR:        Ma
          AMENDED:       March 17, 2011
          FISCAL COMM:   No             HEARING DATE:  June 22, 2011
          URGENCY:       No             CONSULTANT:Lynn Lorber

           SUBJECT  :  Role of Filipinos in World War II.
          
           SUMMARY
           
          This bill encourages social science instruction in grades 
          7-12 to include the role of Filipinos in World War II.

           BACKGROUND
           
          The History-Social Science Framework includes strands on 
          World War II and the role of various countries and people.  
          The current framework does not specifically include 
          reference to the role of Filipinos in World War II.

          Current law:

          1)   Authorizes social science instruction in grades 7-12 
               to include instruction on World War II and the 
               American role in that war.  The Legislature encourages 
               this instruction to include a component drawn from 
               personal testimony, especially in the form of oral or 
               video history.  The oral histories must exemplify 
               personal sacrifice and courage, contain views and 
               comments of their subjects and solicit specific 
               comments from their subjects.  (Education Code  
               51221.3)

          2)   Encourages social science instruction in grades 7-12 
               to include instruction on the Vietnam War including 
               the "Secret War" in Laos and the role of Southeast 
               Asians in that war.  The Legislature also encourages 
               this instruction to include a component drawn from 
               personal testimony and the oral histories must meet 











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               nearly identical specifications as listed above.  (EC 
                51221.4)

           ANALYSIS
           
           This bill  encourages social science instruction in grades 
          7-12 to include the role of Filipinos in World War II.  
          Specifically, this bill:

          1)   Encourages social science instruction for grades 7-12 
               to include instruction on World War II and the role of 
               Filipinos in that war, consisting of an accurate 
               history of the contributions of the Filipino American 
               veterans who fought courageously in the United States 
               Army.

          2)   Encourages instruction about the role of Filipinos in 
               World War II 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.  This bill 
               encourages the oral histories to do all of the 
               following:

                    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 United States.

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

                    c)             Solicit comments from their 
                    subjects regarding the aftermath of the war and 
                    the immigration of Filipinos to the United 
                    States.

           STAFF COMMENTS











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           1)   Need for the bill  .  According to the author "During 
               World War II, Filipino soldiers enlisted with the U.S. 
               Armed Forces to assist in the national effort.  For 
               their service, the U.S. government promised them the 
               same health and pension benefits that were rewarded to 
               other U.S. soldiers.  Tens of thousands of Filipino 
               soldiers sacrificed their lives in World War II.  
               However, after the war ended, and the help from the 
               Filipino solders was no longer needed, President 
               Truman instated the Rescission Act of 1946, which only 
               offered benefits to a select group of Filipino 
               veterans.  Even though they fought side by side, the 
               veterans that were denied benefits were also forgotten 
               by the U.S. government, and largely lost from the 
               pages of our history books.  As fewer and fewer 
               Filipino World War II veterans remain, it's imperative 
               to recognize and record their history accurately, 
               especially since they served so unwaveringly 
               side-by-side with American soldiers."

           2)   Permissive Education Code  .  This bill encourages an 
               action that can already be undertaken under existing 
               law; therefore, this bill is unnecessary.  

           3)   Curricular frameworks  .  The state's process for the 
               review and update of curricular frameworks has been 
               halted since July 2009, and is prohibited from 
               resuming until the 2015-16 school year.  Instruction 
               that the state wishes to be provided statewide is 
               typically included in the framework.  The Curriculum 
               Commission was in the process of updating the 
               History-Social Science framework when the framework 
               and instructional material adoption process was halted 
               pursuant to legislation.  Therefore, this bill could 
               be implemented by school districts that choose to do 
               so but would not be included in the framework until at 
               least the 2015-16 school year.

           4)   Technical amendment needed  .  This bill amends a 











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               section of the Education Code that relates to 
               instruction on the Vietnam War.  Staff recommends an 
               amendment to move the provisions of this bill to 
               Education Code Section 51221.3, which relates to 
               instruction on World War II.

           5)   Prior legislation  .  This bill is identical to an early 
               version of AB 717 (Cook, 2009), which was amended to 
               address a different topic, and AB 3084 (Cook, 2008), 
               which was vetoed by Governor Schwarzenegger 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 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."

           SUPPORT
           
          American Federation of State, County and Municipal 
          Employees
          AMVETS-Department of California
          California Language Teachers Association
          California State Commanders Veterans Council
          Consulate General of the Philippines
          Numerous individuals

           OPPOSITION

           None on file.











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