TRENTON, N.J. —Back in November, Save Jersey told you about a bill in the State Senate designed to mandate an official, state-approved list of “inclusive” public school textbooks, one which “accurately portrays the diversity of our society, in such areas as gender, race, ethnicity, disability, gender identity or expression, and sexual orientation.”
This week, the State Assembly passed a bill previously approved by the Senate (back in June) which regulates HOW social studies textbooks for middle school and high school students are written. Only 10 of 80 Assembly members (all Republicans) voted “no.”
“A board of education shall adopt inclusive instructional materials that portray the cultural and economic diversity of society including the political, economic, and social contributions of persons with disabilities and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, where appropriate,” no later than the 2020-21 school year pursuant to the language of S1569.
While few take issue with students learning about important gay or disabled historical figures, the state’s as-of-yet vague enforcement of a social studies textbook’s substantive content is sure to raise eyebrows and concerns among parents across New Jersey.
Governor Phil Murphy now needs to decide whether to sign the sweeping and unprecedented measure into law.