$3 Million for Armenian Museum, $10 Million for Curriculum Included in Calif. Budget

State Senator Anthony Portantino
State Senator Anthony Portantino

State Senator Anthony Portantino

SACRAMENTO –Senator Anthony Portantino announced that the Armenian Genocide Education curriculum implementation and the Armenian-American Museum funding have been included in the final version of the State budget.

The California Legislature will be voting to pass the 2017-2018 budget on Thursday, June 15.

The $3 million-dollar funding commitment for the Glendale-based museum brings the state investment to this important human rights project to $4 million dollars. Earlier in the year, Portantino helped restore the initial $1 million from last year’s budget. Portantino asked the State Senate to prioritize increasing the State’s commitment to the museum to an additional $3 million over the next three years.

Portantino, with the support of Senate Pro Tem Kevin de León and Budget Subcommittee Chair Richard Roth, arranged a presentation from Armenian Museum Executive Board Member Zaven Kazazian before the budget subcommittee. Portantino joined Kazazian in making the presentation before the subcommittee.

“I am extremely happy that as a member of the budget committee, I was able to bring these two important proposals to light this year. It was such a pleasure to invite Zaven Kazazian from the Armenian Museum Board to Sacramento to present this significant human rights project to the attention of the Senate and then into the State Budget,” commented Portantino.

The subcommittee and the Senate subsequently included the funding in the Senate version of the budget. Since the request was not included in the Assembly budget, it had to be sent to the budget Conference Committee for resolution. The Conference Committee adopted the Senate proposal, paving the way for the museum funding to be included in the fiscal 2017 – 2018 budget.

“I am very pleased that the State Senate included the request for funding of our important museum proposal. It was an honor to present at the Senate subcommittee and I’m very excited that the full budget includes the Senate request,” concluded Zaven Kazazian, Armenian American Museum Executive Board Member.

As Chair of Budget Subcommittee on Education, Portantino also put in the request for the funding of the genocide curriculum update implementation. Again, this proposal was included in the Senate priority list. After long negotiations, $10 million dollars was included in the 2017-2018 budget to fund the History-Social Science curriculum framework, which includes teacher training for the Armenian Genocide and other important historical updates.

Over the past several years, the legislature has passed bills to update California curriculum on various issues included the Armenian Genocide. Assembly Member Adrin Nazarian authored the legislation to include teaching Armenian Genocide history. Portantino’s budget request funds the development and implementation of this important curriculum update.

Sen. Portantino represents nearly 930,000 people in the 25th Senate District, which includes Altadena, Atwater Village, Bradbury, Burbank, Claremont, Duarte, Glendale, Glendora, La Cañada Flintridge, La Crescenta, La Verne, Lake View Terrace, Los Feliz, Monrovia, Montrose, Pasadena, San Dimas, San Marino, Shadow Hills, Sierra Madre, South Pasadena, Sunland-Tujunga, and Upland.

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2 Comments

  1. amb said:

    Museum is not the worst idea but we shouldn’t do things that entrenches Armenians more and more in diaspora, we have to plan and focus on facilitating ways for diaspora Armenians to migrate to Armenia and for all Armenians to live there and eventually eliminate the Armenian diaspora.

    • john poochigian said:

      The most important duty of the Armenian Diaspora is to make Armenia more habitable. We must improve the quality of infrastructure and services and encourage the Rule of Law. Hayastantsis leave Armenia for lack of opportunity to improve their lives. The money from the State of California would not have been allocated to another Armenian project. The museum will enhance our public image and facilitate the task of our lobbyists.

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