(The Center Square) – In response to the Temecula Unified School Board’s decision not to adopt a controversial social studies textbook in May of 2023, Governor Newsom challenged the board’s decision and threatened it with legislative consequences if it does not reverse course.
The school board, which banned “critical race theory” in December of 2022, detailed how it did not “ban” a book, but instead decided not to adopt a new social studies curriculum, and that an alternative curriculum compliant with state standards is being presented on July 18, 2023. Furthermore, the school board also stated claims by State Superintendent Tony Thurmond that “the school district is slated to begin the school year on August 14, 2023 without enough textbooks for every student” is “categorically false.”
Newsom, on the other hand, contends, “radicalized zealots on the school board rejected a textbook used by hundreds of thousands of students and now children will begin the school year without the tools they need to learn.”
Doubling down against the school board’s ability to determine its own curriculum, Newsom said, “If the school board won’t do its job by its next board meeting to ensure kids start the school year with basic materials, the state will deliver the book into the hands of children and their parents — and we’ll send the district the bill and fine them for violating state law.”
Democratic leaders across California joined Newsom in challenging the school board’s decision, including Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) and Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas (D-Salinas).
“The antics of the Temecula Valley Unified School District are intolerable and damaging to its students’ opportunities to grow, prosper and succeed,” said Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas. “Book bans betray the most basic of California’s core values. I hope the members of the school board are able to reflect on their decisions and come to make better decisions for our children’s futures.”