California Legislature Approves Assemblymember Holden’s Bill to Recognize President Obama in High School Textbooks (AB 1912)

Monday, August 11, 2014

Sacramento – The California Legislature has given overwhelming, bi-partisan approval to Assemblymember Chris Holden’s bill to encourage California schools to teach the story of President Barack Obama’s trailblazing election.

Today’s vote in the Assembly on concurrence in language changes was approved unanimously – 73 to 0. Last Thursday the Senate overwhelmingly approved AB 1912.   The bill now goes to Governor Brown for signature.

AB 1912 asks the State Board of Education and the Instructional Quality Commission to include the significance of President Barack Obama’s election in the state’s history and social science standards for grades seven to twelve.

“The election of President Barack Obama is a significant part of history and should not just be a mere footnote within textbooks,” said Assemblymember Holden. “This bill would create an opportunity for our children to learn about the historical significance of electing our first African-American President. Children need to understand that for years intimidation and physical violence prevented millions of African Americans from voting and alienated them from the electoral process, making the 2008 election of President Obama even more noteworthy.”

California has not updated its standards for nine years due largely to the state’s fiscal crisis. The State Board of Education is expected to review instructional materials during the 2015-2016 school year.