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Bill encourages teaching about 1st black president

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- The state Senate has approved a bill that would encourage schools to teach the historical significance of Barack Obama becoming the nation's first African-American president.

AB1912 by Democratic Assemblyman Chris Holden of Pasadena passed on a 30-1 vote Thursday, returning to the Assembly for a final vote.

Democratic Sen. Holly Mitchell of Los Angeles says the bill requires the Instructional Quality Commission to consider teaching Obama's election in the context of past voter discrimination. The state Board of Education would need to adopt the commission's recommendation.

Mitchell says it's important to learn about “overcoming our nation's past to elect our first black president.”

Republican Sen. Joel Anderson of Alpine said he opposed the bill because it doesn't address all presidents. He said, “We've never done this for any previous president.”

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