SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California Democrats on Thursday passed legislation that would fine school districts for rejecting textbooks or school library books for discriminatory reasons — a bill backed by Gov. Gavin Newsom that he is expected to sign.
Assembly Bill 1078, carried by Assemblymember Corey Jackson (D-Perris), this year became the administration’s central legislative response to conservative school boards’ embrace of the education culture wars. Newsom aides worked to craft the latest version of the legislation in response to a GOP-backed school board in Temecula that gained notoriety with state Democrats for blocking social studies textbooks over their inclusion of gay rights icon Harvey Milk.
“California is the true freedom state: a place where families — not political fanatics — have the freedom to decide what’s right for them,” Newsom said in a statement after the bill cleared its final legislative hurdle Thursday. “All students deserve the freedom to read and learn about the truth, the world, and themselves.”