FAIR Education Act
Fair, Accurate, Inclusive, and Respectful Education Act
The law made several additions to the Education Code sections dealing with the course of study, classroom instruction, and instructional materials.
The bill added language to Education Code Section 51204.5, which prescribes the inclusion of the contributions of various groups in the history of California and the United States. This section already included men and women and numerous ethnic groups; the expanded language now includes (additions bolded):
“...a study of the role and contributions of both men and women, Native Americans, African Americans, Mexican Americans, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, European Americans, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans, persons with disabilities, and members of other ethnic and cultural groups, to the economic, political, and social development of California and the United States of America, with particular emphasis on portraying the role of these groups in contemporary society.”
The legislation also added some requirements with regard to instructional materials.
Education Code Section 51501 outlines prohibitions on material included in textbooks or other instructional materials. This section already included prohibitions on matter “reflecting adversely upon persons because of their race, sex, color, creed, handicap, national origin, or ancestry”; this bill added “sexual orientation” to the list. Education Code Section 60044 includes a similar prohibition; the language was added there as well, along with a prohibition on materials that contain materials that reflect adversely on persons on the basis of their occupation.
Education Code Section 60040 directs governing boards to only adopt instructional materials that “accurately portray the cultural and racial diversity of our society.” That section already included a number of groups, and was amended to include all of those in Section 51204.5 as listed above. Finally, the legislation provides a reminder to charter and alternative schools that they are also prohibited in engaging in discrimination per Section 235 of the Education Code.
If you have any questions about the FAIR Education Act, please contact Thom Birbeck in the Curriculum and Instruction Department.