California will add ethnic studies to its list of courses required to graduate from high school, starting with the class of 2030.
Governor Gavin Newsom on Friday signed a bill making California the first in the nation to list ethnic studies as a graduation requirement for all public high school students. Under the legislation known as Assembly Bill 101, all public schools in California will be required to offer a one-semester ethnic studies course by the 2025-26 school year, with the graduation requirement taking effect in 2029-30.
“Ethnic studies courses enable students to learn their own stories, and those of their classmates, and a number of studies have shown that these courses boost student achievement over the long run — especially among students of color,” Newsom said in a statement.
In March 2021, after four years and four drafts, the California Board of Education approved the first-ever ethnic studies model curriculum as a guidance document for teachers and administrators who are considering developing their own coursework. The resource, which can be found on the California Department of Education website, was created by a content-specific advisory committee and took into account more than 100,000 public comments.