This week Gov. Gavin Newsom announced he will impose massive financial penalties on any school district that sides with parents who don’t want their children being exposed to controversial and divisive curriculum.
Specifically Newsom has decided to “make an example” out of Temecula Valley Unified School District in Riverside County. After the district voted to allow parents a public process of reviewing the materials, Newsom says he will bypass that process and simply impose the controversial curriculum on every student in the district – and charge the cost of the materials along with a massive $1.5 million penalty to the school district itself.
“Gavin Newsom’s stunt to send these materials directly to students not only is an egregious disregard for parents’ rights and local control by the school board, but it violates existing state law that provides parents with the right to a public review process on any curriculum that is being presented,” notes Carl DeMaio, Chairman of Reform California.
“It is nothing more than an illegal and vindictive stunt worthy of a school yard bully who seeks not just to punish Temecula Valley Unified School District, but to intimidate parents and school board members across the state into silence,” DeMaio added.
DeMaio points to existing state law that provides parents with rights to a public process to review curriculum and provide input. DeMaio notes that the vote by the Temecula Valley Unified School District board was specifically authorized under that section of the California education code. Meanwhile Newsom’s imposition of a $1.5 million penalty does not seem to have any current grounding in state law.
“The only one breaking the law here is Gavin Newsom – by depriving parents of their right of public review and by imposing an illegal penalty on the district,” DeMaio says.
Newsom seems to be acknowledging his dubious legal footing in asking the state legislature to rush passage of AB 1078 - controversial legislation that would allow for financial penalties. AB 1078 would also effectively end any authority of local school boards to reject controversial curriculum by requiring a super-majority vote of the board and state approval before any curriculum changes.
“Hands down AB 1078 ends local control and parental input into curriculum decisions in California,” DeMaio warns.
DeMaio also warned that California curriculum is becoming even more politicized, not less. Recently Newsom instructed state education bureaucrats to include references and links to far-Left groups that engage in politics. DeMaio says not only will the curriculum present controversial and inappropriate topics, it will be used to “recruit” students into far-Left political activities.
Unfortunately, DeMaio says Newsom and California Democrats – with the help of their friends in the liberal media – are succeeding in lying to the public about what the curriculum controversy is all about.
“Newsom claims he is fighting against hate-filled and bigoted parents, but the reality is these parents simply want curriculum that is free from politics and inappoproriate sexualized content,” DeMaio notes.
DeMaio says media coverage refuses to include examples of specific curriculum opposed by parents. “If voters actually saw some of the content being disputed they would overwhelmingly side with parents against Newsom,” DeMaio adds.
That’s why DeMaio and his group Reform California have launched a statewide campaign to recruit, train and support reform-minded school board members and help them get the message out to voters on what is really happening in California schools.
“We can win this fight and make California schools the best in the nation once again – but we need immediate help from grassroots supporters in every community to do it,” DeMaio concludes.