Newsom signs bill barring California schools from banning books

California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 1078 Monday, which penalizes school boards for banning books.

The new law applies to bans on books and other materials based solely on the inclusion of history related to Black, Latino, Asian, Native American, LGBTQ people and other groups, CalMatters reports.

Moreno Valley Democrat and Assemblymember Corey Jackson introduced the bill, which Newsom called “long overdue.”

Several California school boards, including those in the Orange Unified School District and Chino Valley Unified School District, have recently shown disapproval of Newsom’s education plan by passing parent notification policies and other rules regarding transgender students.

The response from Democratic legislators has been to approve more education bills.

“We want to do more than just push back rhetorically against that, and that’s what this legislation provides,” Newsom said regarding AB 1078.

The bills are intended to bolster the state’s protections for LGBTQ+ people and include requiring California schools to provide gender-neutral bathrooms by 2026 and requiring cultural competency training for public school teachers and staff.

“California is proud to have some of the most robust laws in the nation when it comes to protecting and supporting our LGBTQ+ community,” Newsom said.

Earlier Monday, it was announced that in November Newsom would debate Florida Gov. and presidential candidate Ron DeSantis, who is known for his conservative school policies.

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