Home>Articles>Gov. Newsom Signs Mandatory CSU Ethnic Studies Class Requirement Bill Into Law
Gavin Newsom and Shirley Weber
Gov. Gavin Newsom and Assemblywoman Shirley Weber. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

Gov. Newsom Signs Mandatory CSU Ethnic Studies Class Requirement Bill Into Law

AB 1460 goes into effect beginning in the 2021-2022 school year

By Evan Symon, August 18, 2020 3:14 pm

On Monday, Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law a bill that requires all California State University students to take an ethnic studies course in order to receive an undergraduate degree.

AB 1460 signed into law

Assembly Bill 1460, authored by Assemblywoman Shirley Weber (D-San Diego), will now have students decide between one of four ethnic studies classes for the new requirements: Asian American, Native American, Hispanic American, and African American. The bill is due due to go active for the 2021-2022 academic year, with students graduating in 2025 being the first class to graduate with the required class.

Assemblywoman Weber celebrated the bills passage over Twitter: “Great news, today AB 1460 was signed into law by Governor Newsom! This bill reflects 50 years of student, faculty, and community advocacy for curriculum reflective of and responsive to our diverse state. Thank you CFA (California Faculty Association) and many more advocates for your tireless organizing/support.”

AB 1460 had been passed by the Senate in June and by the Assembly earlier this month across clear party lines. Strong continents of supporters and opponents had come out over the bill in the previous months, with many taking the issue online due to COVID-19.

Shirley N. Weber
Assemblywoman Shirley N. Weber. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

Supporters, bolstered by the George Floyd protests, said that ethnic studies was needed to address California’s diversity, confront any “miseducation,” and to “think critically” about race in America.

“Governor Newsom, by signing AB 1460, has demonstrated his understanding of the power of a true ethnic studies graduation requirement to change people’s lives and to change the racial trajectory this state and country are on,” said CFA president Charles Toombs. “Moreover, Governor Newsom, unlike so many others, has listened to and really heard the voices and lens of ethnic studies faculty, students and the community.”

Others noted how AB 1460 will potentially boost academic success for many minorities.

“The CSU is the largest public serving institution with the largest achievement gap between white students and Black, Latinx, American Indian, and low-income students,” explained CSU Northridge professor Dr. Stevie Ruiz earlier this month. “Countless studies have proven Ethnic Studies puts students on the path towards graduation, while at the same time it redresses the pain, grief, and suffering that students experience due to poverty, criminalization, war, and houselesness.”

Opponents warn of declining student enrollments, high costs to implement AB 1460

Opponents have noted that AB 1460’s passage does not guarantee success, ignores other needed mandatory classes, could be an artificial push to boost certain departments, and may lead to many students not going to CSU colleges altogether.

“This sends a message to many students that they aren’t welcome,” explained an anonymous CSU Los Angeles Professor to the Globe. “CSU actually had a much longer list of classes that was a lot more inclusive in their own proposal. But this narrows it down to four. What about Jewish students? Slavic students? Muslim students? Female students? Gay or Lesbian students? Pacific islander students? Don’t they matter? Shouldn’t they learn about their culture and potentially have others learn about it too for greater understanding? According to California, apparently not.”

“Only around 20% of all CSU students are white. That number has been going down for years, and it’s going to accelerate now. Same with other races and people and genders who are suddenly not important enough to be on the mandatory list. It’s a shame because you have some of the most passionate teachers in these classes, and if they were left as electives, you would see a good mix of students wanting to take that instead of large groups of students mostly disinterested in it like other mandatory classes.”

Many at CSU campuses are also not happy with AB 1460 because of the $16.5 million cost of implementing these changes.

“The coronavirus recession has stretched a lot of state college budgets thin,” explained college policy expert Dr. Helena Pierce. “California is no exception. And now they need to find this extra money to expand these departments, hire extra teachers, and hope the plan doesn’t fall off with enrollment declination across nearly two dozen campuses.”

“There hasn’t really been an honest discussion about this because many professors and students fear being called racists if they opposed this. And now it’s law with students not having any say in the matter.”

Passage of AB 1460 has made California the first state in the U.S. to have an ethnic studies class as a graduation requirement in their state university system.

Evan Symon
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8 thoughts on “Gov. Newsom Signs Mandatory CSU Ethnic Studies Class Requirement Bill Into Law

  1. Democrats have been ramping up their racism against whites to the point that the next logical step for Democrats is to enslave whites. Their cultural purge is almost complete, what is next?

    1. War, that’s what’s next. Real guns, real shooting, real casualties. War. There’s no other way out. Kill it before it kills you, it’s that simple.

  2. According to the Smithsonian white people are inferior for using science, rational thought, working hard, planning for the future and being self reliant.

    This is what we are up against. Insanity.

  3. Comrades
    Almost two years of college are a waste, adding one more propaganda history course is not the end of world……I remember having to take a two unit course in Botany, never helped my allergies, never learned to make mash for high demand local spirits…..

    College outside of technical degrees is not relevant for much of anything-

  4. Leave it to this Democratic Governor and his cronies, who consistently cry diversity, to narrow down the ethnic groups that they feel are valuable enough and misunderstood enough to warrant a required course. Disgusting. Ethnic studies is not a new requirement, at the community college level, but the past options allowed students to make their own decisions because of a wider variety of course available. That has lead to higher student success. Typical b.s. from Sacramento

  5. “Ethnic studies” is racist, Marxist, anti American victimology.

    Dr. Tony Lima, Professor of Economics, CSU East Bay, and these days, a true profile in courage, said:
    —“Cal State University is today graduating students who cannot do basic algebra, supposedly a requirement for admission to the university. They also cannot compose a paragraph, much less an entire research paper. Once the CSU has figured out how to teach those two R’s, they can take the time to guarantee full employment for ethnic studies faculty.”

    BTW, why are we paying for a so called “university” system whose graduates cannot write a paragraph?

  6. Put “minority” or at least “two or more races” down as your status on all your paperwork for your job, healthcare, school and real estate. They can’t say you aren’t — and if it’s good enough for Elizabeth Warren, the lying Democrat, to get a job she wasn’t qualified for, then it’s good enough for the rest of us! Remember, when applying for a job the business has a QUOTA showing what minorities they employ vs whites required to be given to the govt. When EVERYONE claims it, then the government will have no choice but to give the same treatment to everyone! Then only QUALIFICATIONS will matter; not race. And NO PREFERENCES to ILLEGALS.
    Also, please remember when it comes time for layoffs if you list yourself as a “minority,” you will not be among the ones to go out the door no matter how badly you perform at your job — courtesy of the DEMOCRATS!!!

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