California Bill Would Block School Districts From Removing Woke Lessons, Could Enrich Newsom’s Wife
California Governor Newsom
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

A California bill would take the power to set their own curriculum away from local school districts and instead grant it to the state — and potentially steer profits to the wife of Gov. Gavin Newsom.

The purpose of the bill, which would upend the tradition of locally-controlled schools, is to prevent school boards in conservative areas from cutting out content that they deem objectionable. State Assemblyman Corey Jackson introduced the bill, titled “Instructional materials: removing instructional materials and curriculum: diversity” in February. Last week, the Education committee set and then canceled a hearing on it.

In states such as Virginia, liberal school districts have ignored and even defied the Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin on school issues, and efforts to remove critical race theory from curricula have had little impact since each curriculum is set at the local level. The California bill, by contrast, would force conservative school districts in the state’s many rural areas to fall in line behind progressive politicians in Sacramento.

Existing law says that a “school district may exclude from schools and school libraries all books, publications, or papers of a sectarian, partisan, or denominational character.” But this bill would change that so that “Commencing with the 2024–25 school year, the governing board of a school district shall only remove books, publications, or papers from schools and school libraries with approval from the state board and in compliance with other procedures developed by the state board.”

It also says that “Every instructional material adopted by a governing board shall include proportional and accurate representation of California’s diversity in the following categories: (1) Race. (2) Gender. (3) Socioeconomic status. (4) Religion. (5) Sexuality.”

Jackson was elected last year after serving two years on the Riverside County Board of Education, according to a biography on the California legislature’s Black Caucus website.

Carl DeMaio, chairman of the watchdog group Reform California, said in a statement that “AB 1078 would eliminate the ability of local education officials to make decisions on curriculum based on the needs and desires of parents and students in their community.” He said parents should conduct “self-audits” to find out what their schools are teaching, advocate to modify it if they deem appropriate, and fight against the bill.

Adam Andrzejewski, founder of government watchdog, told The Daily Wire that “Through their school boards, who serve the community on public salaries, parents have the right to demand changes. They should not have to ask and likely be rebuffed by a powerful few in Sacramento. Once again, transparency sparks accountability and there’s no place where it’s more important than in classrooms.”


OpenTheBooks’ research found that Newsom and his wife are personally responsible for some divisive content in schools, and could stand to profit both from the bill’s “representation” provisions and the restrictions on removing content.

It found that Jennifer Siebel Newsom is founder of a nonprofit called the Representation Project that produces films on social justice topics, then licenses them and accompanying lesson plans to schools for a fee. Two of the films feature Gavin Newsom. The films are being used in 5,000 schools in and outside of California, reaching 2.6 million students, according to the Representation Project.

Since 2012, the group has received nearly $1.5 million in screening revenue, according to its tax filings, though it’s unknown how much came from schools. The nonprofit sent $1.6 million to Girls Club Entertainment, Siebel Newsom’s for-profit firm. In other words, her husband runs the government, the government funds the schools, the schools pay a nonprofit, the nonprofit pays her company, and existing state policies and now a new bill would further pressure schools to license the films.

“Schools are able to license [from Newsom’s nonprofit] documentaries about ‘gender justice’ which cover these topics, often including graphic materials, emotionally challenging classroom ‘activities,’ and interviews with the governor himself,” Andrzejewski said. “It seems unlikely their chosen bureaucrats would do anything but give the go-ahead for controversial content like those films. These and other lessons with questionable content will be nearly impossible to challenge at the local level.”

Auditors at watched Newsom’s movies and read the lesson plans and found “sexually explicit images, political boosterism, and something called “The Genderbread Person.”

“Newsom’s film The Mask You Live In features the website addresses of porn sites including Porn Hub, MassiveCams, BDSM.XXX, and The pornographic images displayed in the film are tagged with descriptions such as ‘domination,’ ‘face f—,’ ‘kinky couples,’ and ‘…dirty brunettes,'” it said.

In 2019, a parent in Creekside Middle School filed a complaint after his 12-year old daughter watched a Representation Project film where, the father said, “Some of the images when slowed down were not blurred, and even when they are blurred, it is obvious what is going on. It is absolutely profane and disgusting.”

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