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house Bill H.R. 943

Should There Be a Grant Program to Help Schools Teach About the Holocaust?

Argument in favor

This bill would improve Holocaust education across the U.S. at a time when there’s been a disturbing uptick in anti-Semitic violence and many students are unaware of the Holocaust or its significance. Because the program’s grants would be primarily funded through donations, this bill would come with a negligible cost to taxpayers.

jimK's Opinion
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01/27/2020
We cannot condone the gross inhumanity of any ‘privileged’ group of people that would systematically and grotesquely discard the rights of or to simply dispose of other ‘unworthy’ groups of people, ever. Our youth needs to understand that even accepting the rhetoric of hate toward ‘others’ can lead to a people’s and a government’s acceptance of institutionalized abandonment and persecution of those ‘unworthy others’. The Holocaust provides a clear history of the horrible consequences of permitting any government’s doctrine of hate to prevail. It would also highlight the wisdom of our founders Declaration of Independence statement that ‘all people are born with certain inalienable rights’. These are important and scary lessons to learn as they absolutely must be.
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Glowurm's Opinion
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01/27/2020
Right on S. 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻😊❤️ And why should there be a grant program? This is history and it should be taught in its entirety. The good and the horrible. I am aghast to think that our schools are not doing this. I guess we are too trusting of those who decide what our children’s education should consist of. Methinks we need a panel of unbiased educators to review EVERY DAMN BOOK we have in our schools for content and accuracy before they are distributed. ALL children receive the SAME BOOKS as the wealthy private or religious schools. And the South cannot praise those who wished to divide us. Their children need to know the truth as to why we had the Civil War, not polished over bull💩.
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Michael's Opinion
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01/27/2020
Did we stop teaching this? We had a whole week devoted to it that required warnings to the students and parents because of the uncensored photos
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Argument opposed

There’s no need for the federal government to establish a grant program to advance Holocaust education, even if it’s primarily funded by donations. Some state and local education agencies already have programs to teach students about the horrors of the Holocaust, so others can follow suit without the need for a federal program.

Hank's Opinion
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01/27/2020
Grants for teaching about the holocaust should not be provided unless grants are also provided about other such historical events. The holocaust is just one of many genocides committed.
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Bill.W's Opinion
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01/27/2020
I think there should be a mandate requiring all public schools to teach holocaust history along with other instances of genocide. However they shouldn’t need a grant to make this happen.
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mamiller1101's Opinion
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01/27/2020
Grants should not be needed to teach specific subjects. This should be part of the curriculum already.
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What is House Bill H.R. 943?

This bill — the Never Again Education Act — would create a Holocaust Education Assistance Program Fund from which the Dept. of Education would disburse grants to entities carrying out Holocaust education programs and create materials for schools that satisfy state standards. Up to $2 million in annual appropriations to the fund would be authorized for fiscal year 2020 and the four fiscal years thereafter. The fund could also accept private donations and in-kind contributions, and at least 90% of the program’s expenses would have to be in the form of grant awards.

The Dept. of Education would be required to create (or update and maintain) an online Holocaust education website to serve as a central hub for the program. The site would contain resources for middle and high schools and facilitate connections between schools and Holocaust education centers, institutions, and foundations with expertise in content and pedagogy for instructing on the subject appropriately and effectively.

Additionally, a Holocaust Education Advisory Board would be created at the Dept. of Education consisting of three finance directors with experience in non-profits to oversee fundraising, four national Holocaust education representatives, four regional Holocaust education representatives, and a chairman with experience in both Holocaust education and non-profit fundraising. Advisory board members would be appointed by congressional leadership.

The Dept. of Education would be required to review grant recipients each year to ensure they’re complying with the terms of the grant and following through with their Holocaust education program. An annual report would also be provided to Congress to outline the program’s activities each year.

Impact

Students and teachers; Holocaust education organizations; state education agencies; the Depts. of Education and the Treasury; and Congress.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 943

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) introduced this bill to address a national rise in anti-Semitism by creating a new grant program at the Dept. of Education that would give teachers across the U.S. resources and training to teach children important lessons about the Holocaust:

“We are at a dangerous moment in time. Anti-Semitism is on the rise around the world and here at home, and the money of the Holocaust is fading for far too many Americans. We can combat this by making sure we teach our students, tomorrow’s leaders, about the horrors of the Holocaust. It is simply not enough to condemn hateful, violent attacks against the Jewish community - we need to be proactive, we need to take action. I am proud to reintroduce the Never Again Education Act, so that we can be vigilant in the fight against hatred and give teachers across the United States the resources and training they need to teach our children the important lessons of the Holocaust.”

Original cosponsor Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) added:

“Over the last few years, a concerning amount of anti-Semitic incidents have occurred in our country. My hope is that this bill will combat the rise of this inexcusable behavior by further educating our nation’s students on the unthinkable and innumerable atrocities of the Holocaust. As a nation, we cannot allow a return to the hateful actions that led to the Holocaust and I’m proud to do my part to change it.”

Rabbi Arthur Schneier, a Holocaust survivor, called this bill “essential” and added:

“We must educate our children about the dehumanization, the burning of books and synagogues, which led to the Holocaust that claimed the lives of 6 million Jews including 1.5 million children, as well as my family in Auschwitz, Theresienstadt, and Lublin. After the Anschluss, March 12, 1938, my close non-Jewish friends all cut ties with me, I became a pariah. This is the first time I experienced the hatred of anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitism is a cancer that was in remission and has now metastasized. Sadly, we have seen the widespread increase in anti-Semitic acts in Europe and the United States and the shock of the horrific attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. We need to protect our children from the scourge of anti-Semitism, bigotry and hatred that destabilizes civil society and peaceful co-existence. Education of ‘love your neighbor as yourself’ is needed more than ever before.”

This legislation has the support of 156 bipartisan cosponsors, including 113 Democrats and 43 Republicans.


Of Note: The Holocaust, also known as the Shoah, was a genocide in which Nazi Germany murdered more than 6 million European Jews — about two-thirds of the continent’s Jewish population — between 1941 and 1945. The Holocaust was Adolf Hitler’s “Final Solution to the Jewish Question” and aimed to conclude the Nazi regime’s systematic persecution of Jews, which began in 1933, by exterminating them altogether. Other groups were also targeted for extermination by the Nazis, including Slavs (mostly Poles and Russians), the Roma, political and religious dissenters, and gays — bringing the total number of people killed by Nazi persecution to 17 million.

According to Rep. Maloney’s office, only 8 states have laws requiring Holocaust education in school curricula while another 12 states recommend it. Recent polling shows that Americans’ knowledge about the Holocaust is sorely lacking:

  • 31% of Americans (and 41% of millennials) believe that 2 million or fewer Jews were murdered in the Holocaust.

  • 41% of Americans (and 66% of millennials) can’t say what Auschwitz was.

  • 52% of Americans wrongly believe Hitler came to power through force.

In recent years there has been uptick in anti-Semitic violence in the U.S. and Europe. In October 2018, 11 Jews were murdered at the Tree of Life Synagogue, which was the deadliest attack against Jews in U.S. history. Additionally, Rep. Maloney’s office notes numerous attacks against Hasidic Jews in New York City.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: pingnews.com via Flickr / Public Domain)

AKA

Never Again Education Act

Official Title

To authorize the Secretary of Education to award grants to eligible entities to carry out educational programs about the Holocaust, and for other purposes.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house Passed January 27th, 2020
    Roll Call Vote 393 Yea / 5 Nay
    IntroducedJanuary 31st, 2019

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    We cannot condone the gross inhumanity of any ‘privileged’ group of people that would systematically and grotesquely discard the rights of or to simply dispose of other ‘unworthy’ groups of people, ever. Our youth needs to understand that even accepting the rhetoric of hate toward ‘others’ can lead to a people’s and a government’s acceptance of institutionalized abandonment and persecution of those ‘unworthy others’. The Holocaust provides a clear history of the horrible consequences of permitting any government’s doctrine of hate to prevail. It would also highlight the wisdom of our founders Declaration of Independence statement that ‘all people are born with certain inalienable rights’. These are important and scary lessons to learn as they absolutely must be.
    Like (161)
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    Grants for teaching about the holocaust should not be provided unless grants are also provided about other such historical events. The holocaust is just one of many genocides committed.
    Like (66)
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    Right on S. 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻😊❤️ And why should there be a grant program? This is history and it should be taught in its entirety. The good and the horrible. I am aghast to think that our schools are not doing this. I guess we are too trusting of those who decide what our children’s education should consist of. Methinks we need a panel of unbiased educators to review EVERY DAMN BOOK we have in our schools for content and accuracy before they are distributed. ALL children receive the SAME BOOKS as the wealthy private or religious schools. And the South cannot praise those who wished to divide us. Their children need to know the truth as to why we had the Civil War, not polished over bull💩.
    Like (105)
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    Did we stop teaching this? We had a whole week devoted to it that required warnings to the students and parents because of the uncensored photos
    Like (73)
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    I don’t understand why this wouldn’t be part of the curriculum now. I don’t understand why we would have to have a special fund to teach this when it should be part of the history class. Are we going to have to start subsidizing all history to be taught in school?
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    While the current text books document the historical facts it seems that not much has been learned if there is a reoccurrence of anti-Semitic violence! “there’s been a disturbing uptick in anti-Semitic violence and many students are unaware of the Holocaust or its significance.” What is needed is to teach critical thinking to understand what happened so many years ago is not an isolated event that can not occur again but does by evaluating current events and comparing them to the events that occurred leading to the holocaust, and if we are or are not on the same path and why.
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    I think there should be a mandate requiring all public schools to teach holocaust history along with other instances of genocide. However they shouldn’t need a grant to make this happen.
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    There should not have to be a grant program, it should be part of curricula. It is a part of history that must be taught. We can only hope to avoid another one by teaching about it, not hiding from it. Darkness can only be driven out by light.
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    History needs to be taught, if a state needs help with it's education systems then it should be able to get
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    This is important history. It is a shame that many of the survivors are now deceased. There was a lot of first hand information and history to be learned from those who actually were there. I am sorry that I didn’t have the requisite knowledge to talk to survivors over the course of my nursing career. Approve this and let the history be identified so we do not repeat these behaviors of cruelty again.
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    If we forget or never even learn this history, we may doom future generations to repeat it.
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    Yes. Teach the history of the Holocaust along with the genocide of the Native American population and other atrocities where prejudice and hatred were allowed to thrive unchecked resulting in the slaughter of innocent people.
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    Grants should not be needed to teach specific subjects. This should be part of the curriculum already.
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    [Edit.] (Thanks to my Congressperson and the other 392 Representatives for voting for this bill.) Yes, teach about the horrors of the Holocaust. Place it the context that it was in part, at least, due to emotional vulnerabilities and hatred stoked by demagoguery. Further, we need our older children to become aware of the genocide and other mass killings around the world that continue to this day.
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    YES, we are in a political atmosphere that closely parallels the tide of Hitler, Stalinand Mussolini and we need to EDUCATE our citizens in order to HELP PREVENT US FROM REPEATING HOSTORY..
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    Yes. So that it is never forgotten.
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    Should there be a grant program to teach about the Holocaust? I wish it weren’t necessary but an education doesn’t include the same things from one school to the next, community or city. The emphasis placed on school circular is not the same in public vs private vs home schooling. Allowing community based choices and home schooling was the basis of changing the circular to those topics which parents believed were more to their own thought process. Now private and home schooling exists in an environment where we may “choose” what is taught so long as core courses such as math and some sciences are maintained. This has ensured the fragmentation of our society. Civics, U.S.Government, World History and many others have fallen to the wayside while Religious indoctrination has replaced other courses that were generalized or generic. I learned about the Holocaust, Nazi Germany, Civics, U.S. History, World History (not only white) and took many other courses in high school along with my core courses. When my daughter was in high school I asked her about Vietnam, she had no clue. Holocaust, no clue. She explained that they were only taught what they needed to pass the achievement tests which left out the most important topics that needed to be discussed. Now we have Betsy DeVos destroying the curricula even further. In the book “1984” the public programming began with controlling information and with that limiting thought. We started the process thirty years ago. You want to fix it. Fix and emphasize uniform public education. We need to learn together, be exposed to similar curriculum based on facts not beliefs, establish equal standards for everyone and learn to live together. We have done this to ourselves and we can undo it if we have the will. Special grants should not be needed unless our educational curriculum is deficient.
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    At negligible cost & increases factual & social education, YES, of course. However, there shouldn’t be a grant needed for teaching specific parts of history. ALL history should be taught to ALL students. Teach students to consider the facts, research the background, consider differing viewpoints, and to think for themselves. On that note - how about a textbook committee looking into publishers different versions in different states/regions of our country? How is that rationalized? Opinionated/subjective renditions of history over facts - not acceptable. Federally funded schools should have identical textbooks. Transparency about the publishers & publishing is needed - especially the financial backing, political/lobby activities, & fiscal participation in PACs, etc.
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    This kind of education is absolutely crucial. We should prioritize it not only so that our children know about the horrors in our past, but also to make sure that everyone can recognize the signs of creeping fascism and know how to prevent another genocide.
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    We should be teaching about the holocaust, civics, and many other things in schools. Currently I am appalled that my granddaughter, who is a sophomore, cannot discuss the impeachment trial in school! That is ridiculous
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