UNITED STATES NEWS

Southern California school board OKs curriculum after Gov. Gavin Newsom threatened a $1.5M fine

Jul 22, 2023, 3:04 PM

TEMECULA, Calif. (AP) — A Southern California school board has voted to approve a social studies curriculum for elementary students, resolving a dispute with Gov. Gavin Newsom over lesson plans that mentioned the state’s first openly gay elected public official.

The Temecula Valley Unified School District had previously voted to reject the curriculum in part because some board members were concerned the curriculum’s supplementary material mentioned Harvey Milk, the former San Francisco supervisor and gay rights advocate who was assassinated in 1978. Some board members also said parents had not been adequately consulted about the curriculum.

Rejecting the curriculum meant the district would have to use a textbook published in 2006. Those textbooks do not comply with a 2011 state law that requires schools to teach students about the historical contributions of gay, bisexual and transgender Americans. Newsom, a Democrat who has often sparred with Republicans in other states over banning books, threatened to fine the district $1.5 million if it didn’t approve the curriculum.

The board approved the curriculum during a special meeting late Friday night. They also instructed the district’s interim superintendent to review a portion of the curriculum that includes a discussion of gay rights and how same-sex marriage came to be legal in California. The board recommended “substituting age appropriate curriculum” that complies with state and federal law but “is also consistent with the board’s commitment to exclude sexualized topics of instruction from elementary school grade levels.”

Board President Joseph Komrosky said the vote was not in response to Newsom’s threat, but rather to avoid a lawsuit.

“Gov. Newsom, I act independently and authoritatively from you. I am a sovereign citizen in the United States of America,” Komrosky said during Friday’s meeting. “If we do not provide curriculum — I want everybody to hear this — we will literally be sued.”

Newsom said Friday’s vote ensures “students will receive the basic materials needed to learn.”

“But this vote lays bare the true motives of those who opposed this curriculum. This has never been about parents’ rights. It’s not even about Harvey Milk — who appears nowhere in the textbook students receive,” Newsom said. “This is about extremists’ desire to control information and censor the materials used to teach our children.”

Textbooks have become a flashpoint in U.S. politics ahead of the 2024 presidential election. In Florida, state education officials revised Black history curriculum to comply with a law signed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is also running for president. The new curriculum includes teaching that people who were enslaved benefited by learning new skills.

Kimberly Velez, the district’s interim superintendent, assured board members that staff would order the new curriculum on Monday and it would arrive in time for the start of school next month.

“I don’t believe that what has happened over the past few weeks was necessary,” board member Allison Barclay said. “I think we could have made this happen so much earlier. We could have been so much more ready for school to start. It’s a little unfortunate it had to go this far.”

United States News

Forgiving father's killer hard for 3 children of Jordan Rasmussen...

KSL Podcasts/Amy Donaldson

A family decides to forgive a killer, but will the next generation follow?

Michael Moore killed Jordan Rasmussen and Buddy Booth in 1982. Forgiving their father's killer was hard for Rasmussen's three children.

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Neil Goldschmidt, former Oregon governor who confessed to sex with a minor in the 1970s, has died

Neil Goldschmidt, a former Oregon governor whose confession that he had sex with a 14-year-old girl in the 1970s blackened what had been a nearly sterling reputation, has died. He was 83. Goldschmidt died at his Portland home on Wednesday, The Oregonian reported, according to family members. The newspaper said the reported cause was heart […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Man charged with robbing a California bank was released from prison a day earlier, prosecutors say

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A man charged with taking three people hostage while robbing a Southern California bank last month had been released from prison a day earlier, federal prosecutors said Wednesday. The 53-year-old was indicted on robbery charges after investigators said he claimed to have a gun, jumped over the teller counter and […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Woman with gun taken into custody after standoff at FBI building in Seattle, authorities say

SEATTLE (AP) — A woman armed with a handgun was taken into custody after an hourlong standoff at the FBI building in Seattle on Wednesday, authorities said. The woman walked into a publicly accessible area where people have to wait to be buzzed into the lobby, according to FBI spokesperson Steve Bernd. She pointed the […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

South Carolina man pleads guilty in federal court to fatally shooting Virginia police officer

ABINGDON, Va. (AP) — A South Carolina man pleaded guilty to federal charges Wednesday in the shooting death of a police officer in southwest Virginia in 2021. Michael Donivan White, 36, of Cross, South Carolina, had already pleaded guilty to first-degree murder charges in state court. The federal counts include drug charges and causing the […]

5 hours ago

Associated Press

Democrats in Congress say federal mediators should let airline workers strike when it’s ‘necessary’

A group of 32 senators say federal mediators should speed up labor negotiations between airlines and their flight attendants and other workers, even granting them permission to go on strike “as necessary.” The lawmakers said Wednesday that airlines feel no pressure to reach contract agreements quickly because federal law makes it difficult for airline workers […]

5 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinic visits boost student training & community health

Going to a Midwestern University Clinic can help make you feel good in more ways than one.

...

Sanderson Ford

3 new rides for 3 new road trips in Arizona

It's time for the Sanderson Ford Memorial Day sale with the Mighty Fine 69 Anniversary, as Sanderson Ford turned 69 years old in May.

...

DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

Southern California school board OKs curriculum after Gov. Gavin Newsom threatened a $1.5M fine