California Gov. Gavin Newsom is expected to sign a bill banning public school districts from banning books and curriculum related to gender and racial diversity.
Assembly Bill 1078 Last week, the bill passed the state Senate largely along party lines and is now heading to Newsom’s desk.
The bill was passed overwhelmingly in the Assembly in May – around the same time matters came to a head when the Temecula Valley Unified School District voted in favor of it Reject elementary school curriculum It mentioned Harvey Milk, California’s first openly gay elected official.
“My question is, why is a pedophile mentioned at all?” said School Board President Joseph Komrosky at the time.
AB 1078, sponsored by Rep. Corey Jackson (D-Moreno) Would financially penalize school boards that ban books and educational materials on Black, Latino, Asian, Native American and LGBTQ topics as part of an approved curriculum.
“We stand firmly against the ban on books in California schools and ensure our students have access to a broad range of educational materials that accurately reflect the rich cultural and racial diversity of our society,” Jackson said.
The Harvey Milk debate in Temecula has played out in many other forms and in many other school districts across the state and country.
Conservative school boards and parents argue that the curricula range from LGBTQ issues to issues Critical race theory are either not age appropriate for younger students, radical or in some cases anti-American.
“We are not having the discussion at the heart of the issue, which is age-appropriate materials,” Senator Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh (R-Yucaipa) said The Sacramento Bee.
Critics of the bill argue that decisions about local curricula should be made at the local level.
Newsom signaled his support for AB 1078 after it passed in the state Senate last Thursday.
“California is the true freedom state: a place where families – not political fanatics – have the freedom to decide what is right for them,” Newsom said. “All students deserve the freedom to read and learn about the truth, the world, and themselves.”
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