Following pressure from Jewish leaders, California Governor Gavin Newsom sent out a letter to schools urging them to avoid ethnic studies classes that promote bias and bigotry.
The action follows concern that certain curriculums promote anti-Jewish ideas, reports the Jewish Insider.
“We have been advised that some vendors are offering [ethnic studies] materials that may not meet the requirements” of the 2021 legislation, Brooks Allen, executive director of the California State Board of Education, wrote.
Newsom vetoed legislation for ethnic studies in 2020 over similar concerns about anti-Jewish content, reports JWeekly. He signed the bill a year later following revisions.
“Accordingly, before any curriculum or instructional materials for ethnic studies courses are selected, we strongly encourage you to closely scrutinize them to ensure that they meet the above requirements,” the letter said.
Under the law, local school districts must offer at least one semester of ethnic studies beginning in 2025. The course will be a graduation requirement in the 2029-2030 school year, Ed Source said.
The course will promote the contributions of African Americans, Native Americans, Asian/Pacific Islander Americans and Latinx Americans including Filipino Americans, Jewish Americans, Arab Americans, Sikh Americans, Armenian Americans and others.
California students are wonderfully diverse, and celebrating the contributions of our various communities in curriculum gives students a chance to ‘see’ themselves in the fabric of our state,” states the letter.
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