Two weeks ago, California AB101 cleared both legislative chambers. The bill will make Ethnic Studies a graduation requirement for all high school students in California effective in the 2024-25 school year. This is a huge win for diversity efforts and students of color everywhere! Ethnic Studies will teach students about the history of communities of color and immigrant communities in the United States. Passage of AB101 is important not just for students of color but for all students as it addresses the lack of understanding that has been prevalent for so many years. The bill aims to give students a glimpse of all cultures and promotes respect and acceptance for our differences.
This isn’t the first time that Ethnic Studies legislation has been introduced in California, with the original bill being drafted and carried by former Assemblymember Luis Alejo in 2002. After a 19 year journey of edits to the bill and reintroducing the bill to change the Education Code, it appears California is finally ready to say yes to an Ethnic Studies requirement in public and charter schools. This was Assemblymember Jose Medina’s third attempt at passing the bill and it looks like the third time’s a charm because it has passed in the Assembly as well as in the Senate. The bill was sent to the Governor for signature at the end of the legislative session and Newsom has until October 10 to sign the bill.
However, it wasn’t a unanimous vote! The foes of diversity were the Republican members and here they are for your information…
After the Assembly voted to concur with the Senate vote, California Assembly Speaker,
Anthony Rendon said via Twitter that, “California’s students deserve to see themselves reflected in their education. The history of our state should reflect our diversity. The history of our state should reflect our diversity.”
Now that the bill is on the Governor’s desk for his signature, we urge Governor Newsom to sign AB101 into law immediately. The Governor has three options in reviewing bills, he may sign, not sign and allow the bill to go into effect without his signature or he may veto the bill. You can help make it happen by contacting the Governor and telling him to sign the bill and that we need Ethnic Studies now!
Contact the Governor:
Governor Gavin Newsom
1303 10th Street, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 445-2841
Fax: (916) 558-3160
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