Report: “California Legislature Sends Newsom His ‘Anti-Book Ban’ Bill”
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.
Newsom’s bill would allow the state to fine districts if they block books simply because they include representation of a marginalized group. It would have originally only applied to textbooks and curriculum adoption, but was [emphasis ours] expanded to cover school library book selection.
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The bill comes after some local school boards backed by conservative majorities have taken up textbook content and gender identity issues, echoing national talking points about alleged infringements on parental rights.
“California is the true freedom state: a place where families — not political fanatics — have the freedom to decide what’s right for them,” Newsom, a Democrat, said in a statement Thursday. “All students deserve the freedom to read and learn about the truth, the world and themselves.”
The bill explicitly requires that the school boards for the state’s 1,000-plus districts approve textbooks that “accurately portray the cultural and racial diversity of our society.” The law would also create a process for county superintendents — and the state — to intervene when school boards do not meet that standard.
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See Also: Read the Text of the Bill (AB-1078)
About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.