HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A bill being proposed in the Pennsylvania State House would award grants to schools that voluntarily discontinue the use of a Native American mascot.

In a memo to House members, State Rep. Christopher Rabb (D-Philadelphia) says under the proposed bill schools would be able to use grant funds to offset costs associated with discontinuing Native American mascots.

The proposed legislation covers costs to purchase, design, or renovate school equipment to remove the mascot.

According to the National Congress of American Indians, more than 1,900 K-12 schools in the United States have Native “themed ” school mascots, as of November 2022. Those names include Indians, Braves, Chiefs, Warriors, and R*dsk*ns.

A March 2022 report by the NCAI found 45 districts and 113 schools in Pennsylvania continue to use Native “themed” mascots.

“For far too long, indigenous peoples have faced discrimination, disrespect, and violence,” said Rabb. “We must not remain complicit in the perpetuation of these harmful practices which encourage bullying and other forms of abuse. Therefore, encouraging schools to eliminate their use of offensive stereotypes for school mascots is the least we can do to begin mending the damage done by the appalling historical oppression of Native peoples.”

The bill was formerly proposed as HB 2880 during the 2021-22 house session and was last referred to the Education Committee on October 17, 2022. HB 2880 would have awarded a one-time grant of up to $20,000.

The Pennsylvania State House has not taken up any legislation as lawmakers continue to negotiate over House rules and constitutional amendment legislation.