Students at California State University (CSU) will be required to take an ethnic studies course to graduate, according to a new law signed by Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom.
Beginning in the 2021-2022 academic year, students of CSU must be given the option to take a course on race and ethnicity. Starting in 2024-2025, students will be required to take a three-credit ethnic studies course to graduate, according to Fox News.
The new course requirement joins CSU’s English and Science graduation requirement.
The law, which will cost an estimated $16 million, will be applied to all of CSU’s 23 campuses which enroll over 481,000 students, according to the report.
According to the legislation, which was written by Democratic Assemblywoman Shirley Weber of San Diego, ethnic studies “are an interdisciplinary and comparative study of race and ethnicity with special focus on four historically defined racialized core groups: Native Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans and Latina and Latino Americans” and “play an important role in building an inclusive multicultural democracy.”
“This bill reflects 50 years of student, faculty and community advocacy for curriculum reflective of and responsive to our diverse state,” Weber tweeted.
Great news, today #AB1460 was signed into law by @CAgovernor! This bill reflects 50 years of student, faculty, and community advocacy for curriculum reflective of and responsive to our diverse state. Thank you @CFA_News and many more advocates for your tireless organizing/support
— Asm. Shirley Weber (@AsmShirleyWeber) August 18, 2020
The new requirement will override reforms approved in July by the university’s Board of Trustees that required students to take ethnic studies and social justice courses on a wider array of marginalized communities, which included Jews, Muslims and LGBTQ groups, according to Fox.
Critics of the bill in the state Senate said the bill leaves out other ethnic groups that have faced oppression, such as Armenians and those listed above, according to the report.
The measure would set a “dangerous precedent for legislative interference” with the curriculum, Toni Molle, CSU’s director of public affairs wrote before the measure was signed, according to Fox. (RELATED: Proposed California Curriculum Riddled With Anti-Police Rhetoric, Anti-Israel Bias)