The San Francisco Chronicle reports that on Thursday, Governor Jerry Brown signed a controversial bill into law that requires public schools to teach students about the contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans. The bill also includes provisions to add disabled Americans to the social science curriculum in all public schools.
The governor stated that the law is necessary to prohibit discrimination in public education. Activists have hailed the law as a step forward in the fight against bullying of LGBT students by educating kids about the role these individuals have played in American history. Opponents have raised religious objections to the requirement and have also expressed concern that such requirements will take time away from the basic curriculum that would make students more competitive in the global marketplace.
The law does not specify how schools should implement the requirement. The specifics have been left to local schools and instructors. It does require that the instruction apply to students in grades kindergarten through high school using “age appropriate” curriculum. Although text book companies are already working to revise school textbooks, the budget crisis will make it impossible for the state to purchase new texts until at least 2015.