From the Jewish Exponent
The Holocaust and genocide education bill passed unanimously in the state House on Monday, bringing it one step closer to state law.
The bill passed the House of Representatives with a 197-0 vote. Monday's vote follows last week unanimous passage in the state Senate. The measure now awaits Gov. Tom Corbett's signature, which is expected.
The legislation "strongly encourages" but does not require schools to teach Holocaust curriculum. That had been a sticking point for some Holocaust education advocates, but there appears to be greater consensus in the wake of the bill receiving bipartisan support in the Senate.
The legislation, initially proposed by Rep. Paul Clymer, a Republican from Bucks County, calls for providing teachers with Holocaust education and training; establishes a statewide study to determine which schools are teaching the Holocaust and calls for the State Department of Education to require schools to offer such instruction if, after two years, fewer than 90 percent of schools are teaching the subject. It also directs the Department of Education to create a statewide curriculum with the help of organizations like the Shoah Foundation.
Chuck Feldman, president of the Holocaust Awareness Museum and Education Center at the Klein JCC, had been among those who saw a mandate as essential for the bill to be effective.