AHA Releases Statement on Florida Standards, Supports Title VI Funding, Opposes WVU Program Cuts
Amid the ongoing state-level battles over so-called “divisive concepts” and in public education, the AHA released a statement addressing the Florida Department of Education’s new African American history standards, which strip the context of racism from US history lessons. The AHA also signed on to a letter from the Coalition for International Education urging federal funding for HEA–Title VI programs, as well as a statement from the American Council of Learned Societies expressing concern over proposed major cuts to programs at West Virginia University.
AHA Statement on Florida’s African American History Standards
On August 21, the AHA released a statement on the Florida Department of Education’s new African American history standards, based on an op-ed by executive director James Grossman that was published in the Miami Herald on August 14. “What is the purpose of denying young people as comprehensive a history as possible?” the statement reads. “[T]he remedy for discomfort is not to marginalize the lasting effects of legal, economic, social, and cultural institutions that condoned the buying and selling of other humans for nearly 250 years. Our work as historians is chock-full of stories that can inspire students and readers without obscuring essential concepts. All facts and narratives require context; in the United States, slavery and racism are contexts that cannot be dismissed as ‘mere deviations.’”
AHA Signs On to CIE Letter Urging HEA–Title VI Funding for FY 2024
On September 13, the AHA signed on to a letter from the Coalition for International Education (CIE) to leaders in the US House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations expressing “concern over reported deep reductions to the US Department of Education’s International Education and Foreign Language Studies account in the Labor, HHS, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill approved by the Subcommittee before the recess.” The letter urges the committee to fund HEA–Title VI and Fulbright-Hays programs to at least the same amount that that was provided in FY 2023. “The economic well-being and national security of the United States depend substantially on its citizens’ ability to communicate and compete by knowing the languages and cultures of other countries,” the CIE wrote. “[T]his funding is crucial for our nation’s prosperity and safety.”
AHA Signs On to ACLS Statement Opposing Major Cuts to WVU Programs
On September 14, the AHA signed on to a statement from the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) opposing proposed major cuts to West Virginia University (WVU) undergraduate and graduate programs across multiple departments. “By proposing [these] cuts . . . the university is denying its students and the people of West Virginia access to the wide range of knowledge necessary to fulfill that mission,” the ACLS wrote. “The path WVU is treading is unprecedented for a public flagship and dangerous for American higher education and society.”
Rebecca L. West is operations and communications assistant at the AHA. Find her on X (formerly Twitter) @rebeckawest.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Attribution must provide author name, article title, Perspectives on History, date of publication, and a link to this page. This license applies only to the article, not to text or images used here by permission.
Please read our commenting and letters policy before submitting.