High school ethnic studies would be required in California under Riverside lawmaker’s bill

A Riverside legislator’s bill seeks to make ethnic studies a high school graduation requirement in California

The bill introduced by Assemblyman Jose Medina, D-Riverside, a former ethnic studies teacher, has passed the Assembly floor and moved to the state Senate.

It would require the roughly 1.7 million public high schools students in the state take a semester of ethnic studies in order to graduate, beginning in the 2023-24 school year.

Here's a worthy ethnic studies requirement: Make students pick grapes to graduate

It's high school graduation season, which means seniors are making big plans, like what their great Instagram hashtags will be and how they'll sneak in vape puffs during the commencement ceremony. Meanwhile, lawmakers in Sacramento are debating Assembly Bill 2772, which would mandate that all high schoolers complete at least one course in ethnic studies in order to graduate.

The bill was written by Riverside-area Democrat Jose Medina, who you will be unsurprised to learn is a former ethnic studies teacher. He's quoted in an Appropriations committee analysis as saying, "Studies have proven that attendance and the grade-point average of at-risk high school students have improved when culturally relevant pedagogy is added to the curriculum."

Burbank Unified begins discussions on ethnic-studies requirement

"This job is made harder when our children of color do not see themselves in their studies. When you don't see people like yourself, the message is you're invisible. As well, students who only learn about or see people who look like them will not be prepared to navigate an increasingly diverse society," she added.

Jimenez's comments come as California Assembly Bill 2772, introduced Feb. 16, moves through the Assembly Committee on Appropriations after having received approval from the Assembly Education Committee.


Cal State plans big lobbying push for more state money

Cal State officials are hopeful. "We're encouraged by discussions that we've had with the Legislature," Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer Steve Relyea told trustees Tuesday. "This is the time, in these last few weeks, to continue ... telling the story of the California State University."
They're getting some political support. On Wednesday, Assemblyman Jose Medina (D-Riverside), chairman of the Assembly's higher education committee, is holding a Sacramento news conference with students and faculty to pressure Brown to "fully fund" both Cal State and UC.

No tuition hikes — UC and CSU systems deliver welcome news to students

Now there appears to be a growing enthusiasm among state lawmakers for allocating more money to the universities as the Legislature hashes out the state budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year beginning July 1.

“I am happy with their decision,” Assemblyman Jose Medina, D-Riverside, said Thursday of the universities’ announcements. Medina, who chairs the Assembly’s Higher Education Committee, said he hopes lawmakers will not simply buy out the tuition increases, but “fully fund” the UC and CSU.

UC puts off vote on possible tuition hike

Recently, Assemblyman Jose Medina, speaking at a conference with several other lawmakers, said he wanted to “fully fund” UC to make sure all students, particularly the Latino young people who make up a growing portion of the state’s students, have access to higher education.

In the wake of student protests, the California State University system announced last Friday it will not increase tuition for the 2018-19 school year.

Lawmakers question Gov. Brown’s plan to overhaul funding for California’s community colleges

Brown’s community college funding proposal would target more than $6 billion in annual community college “general-purpose” funding so that a quarter of that money is tied to the academic success of students. Another 25 percent of the funding under Brown’s plan would be based on how many students receive federal Pell grants and state tuition waivers. The remaining 50 percent would be tied to student enrollment. All of this would go into effect in 2018-19, which starts July 1 of this year.

Speakers urge school board to require ethnic studies class

This matter arose a month after Assemblyman Jose Medina, D-Riverside, introduced Assembly Bill 2772, which would require public high school and charter students to take an ethnic studies course in order to graduate. If legislators and the governor approve the bill, then the requirement would begin during the 2023-24 school year.

“Without knowledge of other cultural experiences and the history of these ethnic and cultural groups, I don’t think you can call yourself an educated person,” Medina told Time magazine last month.