Thursday, January 28, 2021

CTA Co Sponsors Ethnic Studies

 California could be the first state in the nation to require all students to take ethnic studies to graduate high school if lawmakers are successful in ushering CTA co-sponsored AB 101 through the Legislature and to the governor’s desk.

Authored by Assemblymember Jose Medina (D-Riverside), AB 101 would make the completion of an ethnic studies class a California high school graduation requirement at a time when educators, students and elected leaders say it’s needed most.

We are poised to lead the nation in educational equality and equity,” Medina said at a press conference today. “The time for ethnic studies is now!” 

Supporters are hoping this is finally the year the requirement becomes a reality after numerous disappointments, including last year when Medina’s AB 331 passed the Legislature and was vetoed by Gov. Gavin Newsom. CTA State Council delegates last weekend voted to co-sponsor AB 101, which would go into effect for students graduating in the 2029-30 school year and require each school to offer an ethnic studies course beginning in 2025-26.

Riverside science educator Pia VanMeter said ethnic studies are far too important to be left as an option.

“When students learn to appreciate diverse histories and experiences, it makes them well-rounded individuals,” said VanMeter, a member of Riverside City Teachers Association. “They also become more self-aware, empathetic, understanding and civically engaged citizens of the world. This lesson has always been our mission as educators, regardless of what subject we teach.”



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