NORFOLK, Va. — More diversity in Virginia’s classrooms -- that’s the goal of a new bill in the Virginia General Assembly supported by several Hampton Roads lawmakers.
“Being the youngest Democrat elected, I always want to put the youth first and make sure I'm a voice for them," Del. Nadarius Clark said. He represents the House of Delegates District 79 covering portions of Chesapeake, Portsmouth and Norfolk.
Del. Clark, alongside several other lawmakers including Norfolk Del. Jackie Glass, has introduced House Bill 1179, a bill that would create an advisory board to oversee Asian American, Pacific Islander, Latino and Indigenous education in the state.
29 Virginians would serve on the new advisory board, and report directly to Gov. Glenn Youngkin, his Cabinet and the General Assembly.
According to the drafted bill, the board would have the power to work on school curriculums, as well as develop social studies and historical electives focused on these minority populations.
“When I talk to a lot of teachers: there aren’t programs or things in place for Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, Latinos or Indigenous when they're matriculating through schools," he told 13News Now Tuesday.
According to Del. Clark, the original drafting of the bill came from the Virginia Young Democrats Teen Caucus, an organization of young Democratic supporters, and he agreed to introduce the bill himself.
“My great grandmother is Puerto Rican, so that Latino piece is personal to me. But also just the need for this bill in general, even a teen caucus sees the need for it," Del. Clark said.
You can stay up to date with the latest movement on the bill here.