Bill Text


PDF |Add To My Favorites |Track Bill | print page

AB-1554 American Indian education.(2021-2022)

SHARE THIS:share this bill in Facebookshare this bill in Twitter
Date Published: 01/03/2022 09:00 PM
AB1554:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  January 03, 2022
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 11, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 1554


Introduced by Assembly Member Ramos

February 19, 2021


An act to add Section 51206.2 to the Education Code, relating to pupil instruction.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1554, as amended, Ramos. Pupil instruction: California Indian Education Act. American Indian education.
Existing law creates the American Indian Education Unit in the State Department of Education to provide technical support to, and proper administrative oversight of, American Indian education programs established by the state in order to ensure that American Indian pupils in California public schools are able to meet specified challenging academic standards.
This bill would express the intent of the Legislature to enact future legislation that supports the academic growth and well-being of Native American pupils in California by expanding the American Indian Education Centers program to serve a greater number of Native American pupils in California, supporting and promoting meaningful and timely consultation between local educational agencies and appropriate officials and representatives of tribal governments regarding the education of Native American pupils, and ensuring an adequate level of staffing at the State Department of Education to support local educational agencies and tribes in implementing effective practices to serve Native American pupils and to meet requirements of state and federal law.

Existing law establishes a system of public and private elementary and secondary education in this state. Under this system, local educational agencies and private entities provide instruction to pupils in kindergarten and grades 1 to 12, inclusive, at schoolsites throughout the state. Existing law provides for required courses of study to be presented to pupils in grades 1 to 12, inclusive.

This bill would enact the California Indian Education Act, which would add to the required courses of study by requiring, in all of the public elementary and secondary schools of the state, the social studies curriculum for grades 3, 4, 8, and 11 to include significant material on the history and culture of California Native Americans. The bill would require the Superintendent of Public Instruction to ensure that appropriate instructional materials, including, but not necessarily limited to, suitable textbooks and electronic media, are available for purposes of this instruction to local educational agencies, and to private schools that wish to obtain these instructional materials for fair market value.

To the extent that this bill would create new duties for local educational agencies, it would constitute a state-mandated local program.

The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.

This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.

Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YESNO   Local Program: YESNO  

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


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) A 2016 report to the Legislature by the State Department of Education on the American Indian Education Centers program noted that with funding appropriated for the program, in the 2013–14 academic year, only 4 percent of Native American pupils received services from this program, and recommended that the program be expanded to meet the needs of all Native American pupils in California.
(b) This report also recommended that an American Indian Education Unit should be created within the State Department of Education, as required pursuant to Section 33370 of the Education Code.
(c) The federal Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (Public Law 114-95 (Section 8538)) requires, in order to ensure timely and meaningful consultation on issues affecting American Indian and Alaska Native pupils, specified local educational agencies to consult with appropriate officials from American Indian tribes or tribal organizations approved by the tribes located in the area served by the local educational agency prior to the affected local educational agency’s submission of a required plan or application for a covered program under the act. The act also requires the consultation to be done in a manner and in a time that provides the opportunity for the appropriate officials from American Indian tribes or tribal organizations to meaningfully and substantively contribute to that plan.

SEC. 2.

 It is the intent of the Legislature to enact future legislation that supports the academic growth and well-being of Native American pupils in California by doing all of the following:
(a) Expanding the American Indian Education Centers program to serve a greater number of Native American pupils in California.
(b) Supporting and promoting meaningful and timely consultation between local educational agencies and appropriate officials and representatives of tribal governments regarding the education of Native American pupils.
(c) Ensuring an adequate level of staffing at the State Department of Education to support local educational agencies and tribes in implementing effective practices to serve Native American pupils and to meet requirements of state and federal law.
SECTION 1.

(a)This act shall be known, and may be cited, as the California Indian Education Act.

(b)The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(1)California pupils receive instruction in California state history in both 3rd grade and in high school. As a part of that history, pupils spend one to two lessons on California Native American people, giving them a limited understanding of Native American culture and the significant historical contributions of California Native American people.

(2)The history and contributions of California Native Americans have been comparatively ignored, written in large part from the viewpoint of California’s settlers, thereby promoting false narratives and biases while omitting an account of accurate Native American history, the facts of which are often found to be hard or uncomfortable to talk about.

(3)According to the 2016 History-Social Science Framework, 4th grade pupils begin learning about the impact of California’s Spanish missionary period including its interaction with Native Americans. The framework focuses on missions, ranchos, and the Mexican War of Independence. Teachers may still use the Missions Project diorama for instruction as they focus on other historical information including pre-Columbian history and the history of Native Americans during the Spanish era. The Spanish era was one of the worst times for Native American peoples, a period when the missions enslaved many Native Americans to build projects, committing terrible atrocities including the sterilizing of many Native American women. During this period, Native Americans experienced forced assimilation to the local Spanish culture and attempts were made to eradicate the history and culture of Native American peoples.

(4)Pupils are not taught historical accounts of Native American tribes and their interactions with the United States Government, including treaties, genocide, enslavement, the Indian Removal Act (1830), American Indian Urban Relocation, and other historical incidents. Few Californians are aware of the call by California’s first Governor, who put a bounty on the heads of Native Americans and called for their extermination. The Governor also funded militias and offered bounties by the state to fulfill that order.

(5) One historical incident not taught in state classrooms is the massacre of Pomo Indians in 1850 near Clear Lake. The massacre was carried out by a regiment of the United States Cavalry. This would later be called the Bloody Island Massacre, a government-sanctioned effort to exterminate Native Americans from California.

(6)It is critical that the state address the incomplete and inaccurate teaching of California Native American history. There should be thoughtful and comprehensive instructional standards that include education about the Native American people of the State of California, ensuring that history and social science instruction reflect the state’s true history.

SEC. 2.Section 51206.2 is added to the Education Code, to read:
51206.2.

Notwithstanding any other law, in all of the public elementary and secondary schools of the state, the social studies curriculum for grades 3, 4, 8, and 11 shall include significant material on the history and culture of California Native Americans. The Superintendent shall ensure that appropriate instructional materials, including, but not necessarily limited to, suitable textbooks and electronic media, are available, for purposes of this section, to local educational agencies, and to private schools that wish to obtain these instructional materials for fair market value.

SEC. 3.

If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.