Hundreds Of Thousands Of U.S. Students Will Now Be Required To Take Ethnic Studies
Assemblymember Shirley Weber (D) proposed a bill, which Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law, that will require that California State University undergrads take at least one three-unit course in ethnic studies
California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed a bill into law Monday that will require undergraduates within the California State University (CSU) system to take an ethnic studies course before graduating.
AB 1460, which Assemblymember Shirley Weber (D) proposed, requires that all CSU undergrads take at least one three-unit course in ethnic studies, with a focus on African Americans, Asian Americans, Latinx Americans, and Native Americans. The requirements will first apply to students graduating in the 2024-25 academic year.
According to a Los Angeles Times report, the law will replace a more lenient measure passed by Cal State’s Board of Trustees. The previous measure required undergrads to take a “three-unit course on ethnic studies and social justice, defined broadly to include Jewish, LGBTQ, and disability studies.” Many Cal State officials, including Chancellor Timothy White, reportedly opposed Weber’s bill because they estimated it was more costly, and they were concerned about legislative matters influencing their curriculum.
The California Faculty Association tweeted on Tuesday in celebration of the bill’s signing. The association quoted President Charles Toombs, who said Newsom, by signing the bill into law, “demonstrated his understanding of the power of a true Ethnic Studies graduation requirement to change people’s lives and to change the racial trajectory this state and country are on.”
According to its website, CSU is the largest university system in the nation, with 481,929 enrolled undergrad students in 2019.