A small school district has become the first in California to enforce mandatory “ethnic studies” lessons based on critical race theory, including for preschoolers — setting aside $40 million to implement it.
The board of trustees of the Hayward Unified School District in the Bay Area voted unanimously late last month to approve the program for all grades, starting in preschool — making it a “graduation requirement” by next year.
It will is “informed by and will include Critical Race Theory and the Liberated Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum,” the district said.
“Ethnic Studies is the interdisciplinary study of race and ethnicity, as understood through the perspectives of major underrepresented racial groups in the United States,” the district said.
They were listed as “African Americans, Chicanx/Latinx, Asian Americans, and Native Americans/Indigenous groups” as well as “Pacific Islanders and Arab Americans.”
“This discipline contends with racism, white supremacy culture, anti-Blackness, anti-Indigeneity, and nation-within-nation relationships,” the release said.
Hayward Unified School District board president Dr. April Oquenda said it is “important” to teach children “of all ages about their ancestral legacies.”
“Culture is essential in the fight for racial justice, and the district believes that the promise of the full inclusion of ethnic and cultural groups who have contributed to the development of our country has not yet been realized,” she added.
The Hayward board approved $40 million to to cover recruiting, training and materials for the policy — despite community fears that it could encourage antisemitism, Jewish News Syndicate noted.
The Jewish Caucus warned that an early draft of the curriculum would “marginalize Jewish students and fuel hatred and discrimination against the Jewish community.”
The policy is being pushed throughout the state, with San Diego Unified School District expected to approve a similar plan later this summer, the Wall Street Journal said.
The California Teachers Association has said it “supports a vibrant and robust Ethnic Studies curriculum.”
“We support effective ongoing training programs for the purpose of recognizing and eliminating discrimination in the educational setting and endorse positive action plans that establish procedures and a timetable for eliminating discrimination in the curriculum,” the state’s largest teachers’ union said.
Kenny Xu, president of Color Us United — which “opposes dividing America by race, religion, sexual orientation or any other characteristic” — said that “Americans deserve to know how their money is being spent.”
“Taxpayer dollars shouldn’t be used to fund courses that are fundamentally racist and anti-American,” Xu wrote in the WSJ.