California Fails to Push Back Against Trump as Governor Newsom Vetoes Ethnic Studies for All

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

SACRAMENTO— Assemblymember Jose Medina (D-Riverside) announced that, Assembly Bill (AB) 331, which would have made ethnic studies a California high school graduation requirement, was vetoed by Governor Gavin Newsom.

“Today, in a failure to push back against the racial rhetoric and bullying of Donald Trump, Governor Newsom vetoed AB 331,” said Assemblymember Jose Medina. “The veto of AB 331 is a missed opportunity for the State of California and a disservice to our students who have called for ethnic studies in their schools. This veto comes at a time when the Trump Administration is threatening to punish school districts for teaching anti-racism and anti-bias curriculum.

“As civil unrest and racial tension have risen across the nation, California has marketed itself as a progressive beacon working to overcome its past transgressions and chart an equitable future. In order to build racial justice in this state and country, all of our students need to learn the real history of America – and that history includes the diverse experiences and perspectives of people of color.

“I am committed to making ethnic studies a reality for all of California’s students and will be re-introducing this legislation next year. I look forward to working with the Governor and having his support.”

AB 331 would have required high schools to provide ethnic studies starting in academic year 2025-26 and students to take at least one semester of an A-G approved ethnic studies course to graduate starting in 2029-30.