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Newsom fines Temecula Valley school $1.5 million for rejecting new curriculum

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(The Center Square) – Gov. Gavin Newsom announced he would be fining Temecula Valley Unified School Board $1.5 million and shipping controversial new textbooks to the district after the school board voted yet again to reject the new curriculum.

In a series of spirited meetings, the school board has upheld it would not adopt a proposed new curriculum for 1st through 5th graders that would be compliant with state regulations, including the FAIR Act. The 2011 law requires California schools to include contributions and roles of underrepresented racial, ethnic, and cultural populations in K-12 materials. The governor’s office and the local school board disagree about the extent to which school boards have the power to interpret how these groups are represented in school materials to students of different ages.

Members of the school board contended that while they support the teaching of LGBTQ history, including LGBTQ history in 1st through 5th-grade social studies classes would require having to explain the concept of sex and gender at an “inappropriate” age.

Focusing on state authority to set and enforce its own standards, Newsom stated, “California will ensure students in Temecula begin the school year with access to materials reviewed by parents and recommended by teachers across the district. After we deliver the textbooks into the hands of students and their parents, the state will deliver the bill — along with a $1.5 million fine — to the school board for its decision to willfully violate the law, subvert the will of parents, and force children to use an out-of-print textbook from 17 years ago.”

The proposed curriculum from TCI is one of four approved by the state for that age group and is supported by the school district’s teachers and staff. In light of the governor’s new announcement, the school board is having another emergency meeting to revisit the curriculum.

The California Department of Education did not respond to a request for comment by the time of publication.

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