WASHINGTON –U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) signed on to the Never Again Education Act (S.2085), bipartisan legislation that would establish a dedicated federal fund to provide teachers with resources and training necessary to teach students across the United States about the Holocaust. The announcement comes following Holocaust Remembrance Day, which was observed last week.
The Never Again Education Act establishes a federal fund at the Department of Education (DOE), called the “Holocaust Education Assistance Program Fund,” that will provide to help teachers develop and improve Holocaust individualized programs for middle and high school students that best suit their students’ needs. The funding can be used to cover expenses including training for educators, textbooks, transportation and housing for teachers to attend seminars, transportation for survivors to be brought to a school, and field trips. The program also creates a Holocaust Education website as a central hub of resources and best practices for teachers interested in Holocaust education and connects teachers with curriculum experts to help them incorporate the sensitive subject of the Holocaust into their classrooms, and prioritizes grants to schools with no current Holocaust education programs.
“Following our observance of Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, let us speak with one unified voice in saying Never Again—and recommit to preventing human rights atrocities through education,” Udall said. “Given the recent rise in anti-Semitism and given that fewer and fewer Holocaust survivors and World War II veterans remain with us, The Never Again Education Act will ensure that our educators in New Mexico and across the United States have access to funds for the development of curricula that educate the next generation of students on the important lessons of the Holocaust. We must continue to fight against violent bigotry and hate in the world.”
“We must never forget about the hatred and racist ideologies that fueled the unspeakable atrocities of the Holocaust,” said Heinrich. “Especially now that there are fewer and fewer remaining Holocaust Survivors living to tell us their stories, it is critical that we invest in educational resources. Future generations of students need to learn this grave history and its lessons. We must continue to condemn racism, bigotry, and hatred in all forms and fight to build more just and tolerant communities.”
In addition to Udall and Heinrich, the bill is co-sponsored by Senators Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Martha McSally (R-Ariz.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Angus King (I-Maine), Pat Roberts (R-Kansas), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Todd Young (R-Ind.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Jerry Moran (R-Kansas), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Joe Manchin (D-W.V.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Dan Sullivan (R-Ark.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Doug Jones (D-Ala.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), David Perdue (R-Ga.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), and Patty Murray (D-Wash.).
The legislation is backed by Hadassah, Jewish Federations of North America, Christians United for Israel, the Anti-Defamation League, American Jewish Committee, Simon Wiesenthal Center, Union for Reform Judaism, National Council of Jewish Women, World Jewish Congress North America, B’nai B’rith International, Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, Agudath Israel of America, HIAS, Jewish Women International, National Coalition Supporting Eurasian Jewry, Republican Jewish Coalition, American Jewish Congress, Jewish War Veterans of the USA, and the National Education Association, among many others.