California to require ethnic studies courses for all high school graduates

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High schoolers in California’s class of 2030 will be required to complete an ethnic studies course in order to graduate, under a bill signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom Friday.

The Golden State is believed to be the first in the US to institute such a mandate.

Public and charter schools in the state will be required to offer at least one ethnic studies course starting in the 2025–2026 school year.

Students will have to take the class on top of other standard gen-ed requirements in English, math, science and social studies.

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The requirement can be completed through a school’s existing ethnic studies class, a course approved by the University of California and California State University or a locally developed one.

The new bill, AB 101, was penned by California Assemblyman Jose Medina, a Democrat from Riverside. Medina, who introduced the legislation in 2020, called it a step “in the long struggle for equal education for all students.”

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