Califonia Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed a bill Monday that will enable him to slap fines on local school districts that refuse to obey state edits on curriculum involving controversial subjects like race, gender, and sexuality.
As Breitbart News reported in July, Newsom sought the power to punish dissenting school districts in conservative communities and backed a bill, AB 1078, that would let him do that regarding LGBTQ+ issues and “ethnic” studies.
The bill was failing in the California state legislature, where Democrats hold supermajorities in both houses, until Newsom, seeking a tool against local school districts, jumped into the debate and backed the legislation, saving it.
Newsom hoped to punish one school district in particular, in Temecula, California, where a new conservative majority won school board elections and rejected LGBTQ+ materials, including on the late Harvey Milk.
While Newsom claims the law “bans book bans and censorship,” it effectively enforces left-wing censorship in schools, since state-mandated curricula do not include conservative or traditional perspectives on these issues.
Newsom also claimed that his new law gave families the “freedom” to “decide what’s right for them,” when in fact the law strips that freedom from families to decide, via their own school districts, what their children must learn.
When Democrats are forced to hear some of the material they say should not be “banned” for children — as Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) recently did by reading it aloud in a Senate hearing — they admit that it is “very disturbing.”
Separately, Newsom’s administration is suing a local school board in Chino Valley, California, for adopting a policy requiring schools to notify parents if children want to change their gender — a policy backed by 84% of Californians.
Newsom has sought to portray himself as a national leader against Republican-run states like Florida, where Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has barred the use of Critical Race Theory from schools, and sexual materials for early grades.
The issue is certain to come up in the debate agreed to this week between Newsom and DeSantis, to be hosted by Sean Hannity on the Fox News Channel in Georgia on Nov. 30. Newsom says he is not running for president.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.