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AB-2016 Pupil instruction: ethnic studies.(2015-2016)

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Assembly Bill No. 2016

An act to add Section 51226.7 to the Education Code, relating to pupil instruction.

[ Approved by Governor  September 13, 2016. Filed with Secretary of State  September 13, 2016. ]


AB 2016, Alejo. Pupil instruction: ethnic studies.
Existing law requires the adopted course of study for grades 7 to 12, inclusive, to include, among other subjects, the social sciences. Existing law requires the State Board of Education, with the assistance of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, to establish a list of textbooks and other instructional materials that highlight the contributions of minorities in the development of California and the United States. Existing law establishes the Instructional Quality Commission and requires the commission to, among other things, recommend curriculum frameworks to the state board.
This bill would require the Instructional Quality Commission to develop, and the state board to adopt, modify, or revise, a model curriculum in ethnic studies, and would encourage each school district and charter school that maintains any of grades 9 to 12, inclusive, that does not otherwise offer a standards-based ethnic studies curriculum to offer a course of study in ethnic studies based on the model curriculum.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) The State of California is committed to providing excellent educational opportunities to all of its pupils.
(b) There are 92 languages other than English spoken throughout the state, with the primary languages being Arabic, Armenian, Cantonese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese.
(c) There is a growing body of academic research that shows the importance of culturally meaningful and relevant curriculum.
(d) Based on the National Education Association (NEA) publication, The Academic and Social Value of Ethnic Studies, the inclusion of ethnic studies in a curriculum has a positive impact on pupils of color.
(e) Ethnic studies benefit pupils in observable ways, such as pupils becoming more academically engaged, increasing their performance on academic tests, improving their graduation rates, and developing a sense of self-efficacy and personal empowerment.
(f) The state’s educational standards should be guided by core values of equity, inclusiveness, and universally high expectations.
(g) The state is committed to its efforts to provide all pupils with excellent educational opportunities, without regard to race, gender, ethnicity, nationality, income, sexual orientation, or disability.
(h) The state is committed to its obligation to ensure its youth are college prepared and career ready, while graduating 100 percent of its pupils.
(i) The implementation of various ethnic studies courses within California’s curriculum that are A-G approved, with the objective of preparing pupils to be global citizens with an appreciation for the contributions of multiple cultures, will close the achievement gap, reduce pupil truancy, increase pupil enrollment, reduce dropout rates, and increase graduation rates.
(j) The state encourages the participation of pupils and members of the community in the development of an ethnic studies model curriculum.

SEC. 2.

 Section 51226.7 is added to the Education Code, to read:

 (a) The Instructional Quality Commission shall develop, and the state board shall adopt, modify, or revise, a model curriculum in ethnic studies to ensure quality courses of study in ethnic studies. The model curriculum shall be developed with participation from faculty of ethnic studies programs at universities and colleges with ethnic studies programs and a group of representatives of local educational agencies, a majority of whom are kindergarten to grade 12, inclusive, teachers who have relevant experience or education background in the study and teaching of ethnic studies.
(b) The model curriculum shall be written as a guide to allow school districts to adapt their courses to reflect the pupil demographics in their communities. The model curriculum shall include examples of courses offered by local educational agencies that have been approved as meeting the A-G admissions requirements of the University of California and the California State University, including, to the extent possible, course outlines for those courses.
(c) On or before December 31, 2019, the Instructional Quality Commission shall submit the model curriculum to the state board for adoption, and the state board shall adopt the model curriculum on or before March 31, 2020.
(d) The Instructional Quality Commission shall provide a minimum of 45 days for public comment before submitting the model curriculum to the state board.
(e) Beginning in the school year following the adoption of the model curriculum pursuant to subdivision (a), each school district or charter school maintaining any of grades 9 to 12, inclusive, that does not otherwise offer a standards-based ethnic studies curriculum is encouraged to offer to all otherwise qualified pupils a course of study in ethnic studies based on the model curriculum. A school district or charter school that elects to offer a course of study in ethnic studies pursuant to this subdivision shall offer the course as an elective in the social sciences or English language arts and shall make the course available in at least one year during a pupil’s enrollment in grades 9 to 12, inclusive.
(f) It is the intent of the Legislature that local educational agencies submit course outlines for ethnic studies for approval as A-G courses.