Governor signs ethnic studies bill

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation last week making California the first state to require ethnic studies for high school graduation.

AB 101 was authored by Assemblyman Jose Medina (D-Riverside). It requires all public schools to offer at least one ethnic studies course beginning in 2025-26. The graduating classes of 2029-30 forward will have to complete an ethnic studies course to graduate.

The signing follows years of back-and-forth over the specifics of ethnic studies curriculum. Several drafts were introduced and hotly debated before a final framework was approved in March.

“I want to acknowledge the countless young people, high school and college students, teachers and professors, who have organized, demonstrated, boycotted classes, and gone on hunger strikes to demand a more equitable and inclusive educational system," Assemblyman Medina said in a statement. "The signing of AB 101 today is one step in the long struggle for equal education for all students.”