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California State Board of Education approves LGBTQ inclusive textbooks

“Approval of these textbooks means that California schools will now have access to approved materials that accurately represent LGBTQ people..."
Photo credit:
SFGate

Yesterday, the California State Board of Education adopted ten LGBTQ-inclusive history and social studies textbooks for K-8 classrooms and rejected two which failed to include LGBTQ people. The state's subject matter frameworks require LGBTQ inclusion following the 2011 passage of the FAIR Education Act, authored by Senator Mark Leno.

The FAIR Education Act modified the California education code to add the roles and contributions of LGBTQ people and people with disabilities to the list of ethnic and cultural groups to be included in history and social sciences curriculum.

“This long fought victory is the next step for California students to learn about the contributions and history of LGBTQ people” said Rick Zbur, Executive Director at Equality California. “Approval of these textbooks means that California schools will now have access to approved materials that accurately represent LGBTQ people, and Equality California applauds the State Board of Education for this historic decision.”

The FAIR Education Implementation Coalition, comprised of Our Family Coalition, Equality California, GSA Network, Committee on LGBT History, ACLU of California, Transgender Law Center, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, the Los Angeles LGBT Center and the Safe Schools Project of Santa Cruz County, who have been advocating for the LGBTQ-inclusive textbooks, testified in support of the Instructional Quality Commission’s recommendation on the proposed materials. 

"The decision today means that LGBTQ students, and those with LGBTQ families, will finally be able to see themselves and our history accurately reflected in textbooks in California,” said Renata Moreira, Executive Director at Our Family Coalition. “We celebrate SBE's final vote and are more than ready to continue working with partners and educators on the next chapter as we move to district adoption across the state.”

The State Board of Educations’ adoption of the approved textbooks makes California the first state in the nation to implement a K-8 curriculum that requires the inclusion of LGBTQ contributions.