Gov. Jay Inslee signed House Bill 1541 into law on March 30 at Aki Kurose Middle School in Seattle. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos (D–Seattle), would implement strategies to close the educational opportunity gaps, and requires schools to collect and report data by Asian ethnicities so educators will have a better understanding of how to support students.
Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC) Executive Director Quyen Dinh said, “This data will empower communities to develop and lead solutions to meet the challenges and recognize the full assets of AAPI students who have been systematically rendered invisible in our education data system.”
HB 1541 also addresses structural problems within the educational system that disproportionately affect students of color and reduce their opportunities to excel academically. These problems include the disconnect between students of color and their educators, as well as the disconnect between schools and families of students of color. The bill also addresses student discipline reform.