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Days after being threatened with a $1.5 million fine, Temecula Valley school board adopts new curriculum

Temecula Valley Unified School District board members held an emergency meeting Friday in light of a controversy involving a rejected school curriculum and Gov. Gavin Newsom.

The controversy, which stems from the material’s mention of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay person to be elected to political office in California, and accusations that he was a pedophile.

Friday’s meeting, which was called after the governor imposed a hefty fine on the district, saw the debacle finally come to an end, with board members voting to adopt the curriculum.

On Wednesday, the district voted 3-2 in favor rejecting a state-endorsed social studies curriculum which mentions gay rights activist Harvey Milk, marking the second time the district has denied the material.

Governor Newsom issued a statement announcing a $1.5 million fine the district faces in what he called a “willful violation of the law.” He also plans to supply students with the new textbooks and charge the district the $1.6 million price tag.

In a press release, Congressman Darrell Issa told Newsom to “stop bullying Temecula” while showing his support for parents and the school board.

“I stand with the parents of Temecula,” he said in a statement. “The School Board is doing well by listening to concerned parents and educators and trying to work together to properly curate the studies that will be presented to younger students.”

TVUSD Board Chair Joseph Komrosky, who has been trading rhetorical blows with the governor in recent weeks, issued a statement after the fine was imposed, stating that the district was “not done with its work on the 2023-2024 curriculum.”

“Despite our continued work and our commitment to core values, Governor Newsom has taken unilateral action to step in the middle of our work without even reaching out to the school district first to understand what the school district can be doing to meet all the curriculum needs of our students. What he calls inaction we see as responsible considerations for all viewpoints in our community as we reach a final decision and over time,” Komrosky said of doing so. “To that end, I will call a special meeting of the Board for July 21, 2023, to consider the culmination of our work on this issue and the possible adoption of a curriculum that meets all state and federal mandates. We do not appreciate Governor Newsom’s effort to usurp local control and all that will apparently result from these tactics is a waste of money with tax refund policy. off the books buy”.

During Friday night’s meeting, board members voted for the first time on whether to keep the district’s current 17-year-old curriculum, which included textbooks from 2006.

Finally, in the third vote in the last two months, board members voted to approve the new curriculum.

They will still look for ways to adopt the new curriculum, but hope to implement different material to replace the mention of milk, while still meeting state mandates.

After the decision, Governor Newsom issued a statement via Twitterwhich said:

“Fortunately, the students will now receive the basic materials needed to learn.

But this vote exposes the true motives of the school board majority. This has never been about parental rights. It’s not even about Harvey Milk, who appears nowhere in the textbook the board voted to censure. It is about extremists’ desire to control information and censor the materials used to teach our children. It is the story itself that offends them. This debate in Temecula is not about local control. It is a national ideological crusade that remains determined to silence diverse communities and erase our history.

Demagogues who whitewash history, censor books and perpetuate justice never succeed. These board members still have a civil rights investigation to answer.”

Members of the Board first voted to reject the curriculum in Aprilimmediately calling the attention of the governor, as well as creating division among TVUSD parents on the extremely controversial subject.


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