California’s Ethnic Studies Graduation Requirement: The Need for Clarification

FAIR has asked Governor Newsom and the California legislature for clarification on this important requirement, and you should too.

As you know, AB 101 is set to require that California high school students have a course in ethnic studies before they can graduate from high school. However, in our view, it is unclear whether AB 101 is actually operative at this time. 

Below you will find our memorandum, “Uncertain Legal Status of California’s Ethnic Studies High School Graduation Requirement Law Must be Clarified by Legislators,” which sets out our concerns and describes why guidance from the Legislature is needed.

This lack of clarity creates an enormous hardship for California local education agencies now in an untenable position of planning for a potentially unfunded course during this very tight economic cycle. To meet AB 101’s 2025-26 implementation deadline, budgets must be set by June 2024 and Ethnic Studies course curricula and staffing decisions must be approved and in place by Spring 2025.

As California educators prepare for the 2023-24 school year, FAIR recommends that they ask their local California Senators and Assemblymembers for a guidance memorandum clarifying AB 101’s operational status

FAIR has shared this concern with Governor Newsom and the California Legislature’s leaders and requested urgent clarification, as well.