AB 331 (Medina): The Move for an Ethnic Studies High School Graduation Requirement in CA Begins Again

By Irene Sanchez

On January 31, 2019, Assemblymember Jose Medina of Riverside, introduced legislation to make Ethnic Studies a graduation requirement in the State of California again. Medina is a former high school teacher and long time advocate of social justice/education/ethnic studies from the Inland Empire.

Last year Medina had also introduced legislation that eventually shifted into a pilot program of Ethnic Studies that passed both the Assembly and Senate. This bill was eventually vetoed by former Gov. Brown after much anticipation that Ethnic Studies as a grad requirement would become a reality after much struggle by past/current education activists/advocates.

AB 331 would require each school district that doesn’t already have an Ethnic Studies curriculum to offer a course beginning in 2021-2022. AB 331 would add that an Ethnic Studies class be added to high school graduation requirements in the 2023-2024 school year.

On introducing AB331 this is what Assemblymember Medina wrote on Facebook,

“California is one of the most diverse states in the country and we should celebrate that diversity by including it in the classroom. Today I introduced #AB331, which would make Ethnic Studies a graduation requirement in all California high schools. At a time when the national climate drives divisiveness and fear of otherness, Ethnic Studies can play a critical role in increasing awareness and understanding. #EthnicStudiesNow”

More to come!

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