California Tri-Caucus Leaders Push for Ethnic Studies Legislation

June 24, 2020

SACRAMENTO Legislation to give high school students a comprehensive and inclusive curriculum by requiring completion of an Ethnic Studies course is getting a major push by leaders of the California Latino Legislative Caucus, Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus and Legislative Black Caucus.


“Ethnic studies will help all of our students better understand American history and thus, better prepare them for our societal challenges ahead. But, studies show that students of color in particular, perform better in all subjects when they are taught self-empowerment through their own history,” said Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), Chair of the Latino Legislative Caucus.


Assemblymember Jose Medina (D-Riverside), a member of the Latino Caucus, is the author of Assembly Bill 331, which would require high schools students to complete an Ethnic Studies course in order to meet high school graduation requirements beginning in the 2024-25 school year. Ethnic Studies is an interdisciplinary field of study that offers an in-depth comparative study of the history, politics, culture, contributions, challenges, and the current status of ethnic groups in the United States.


“It has become an imperative that we must not only do what we have done over the years, which is make resolutions and encouraging curriculum that is optional,” said Assemblymember Shirley Weber (D-San Diego), Chair of the California Legislative Black Caucus. “This bill is about mandating ethnic studies curriculum for the people of California. It will enhance and strengthen who we are. We are a diverse state that is very proud of our diversity, but we must have that diversity reflected in the curriculum.”


"Ethnic Studies is a benefit to all students in California," said Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco), Chair of the Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus. "Ensuring a more inclusive curriculum will lead to better student outcomes and foster a greater understanding between the diverse communities that make up California."


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