Under this law, the state superintendent will also have the authority to purchase textbooks for students within a school district and recoup the costs from the school if it refuses to provide textbooks in line with the state’s diversity and inclusion standards.
The bill was signed amid a feud between the state and the Temecula Valley Unified School District, which rejected a controversial state-approved social studies textbook over its inclusion of pro-homosexual and pro-transgender themes. Newsom criticized the school district when he signed the bill.
“From Temecula to Tallahassee, fringe ideologues across the country are attempting to whitewash history and ban books from schools,” Newsom said in a statement. “With this new law, we’re cementing California’s role as the true freedom state: a place where families — not political fanatics — have the freedom to decide what’s right for them.”
State Superintendent Tony Thurmond also spoke positively of the new law and indicated his intent to use his new authority.
“This law will serve as a model for the nation that California recognizes and understands the moment we are in — and while some want to roll back the clock on progress, we are doubling down on forward motion,” Thurmond said. “Rather than limiting access to education and flat out banning books like other states, we are embracing and expanding opportunities for knowledge and education, because that’s the California way.”