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A bid to make a one-semester ethnic studies course a high school graduation requirement was vetoed late Wednesday by Gov. Gavin Newsom, who cited the ongoing controversy over the appropriate curriculum in his message on the legislation.

“I value the role ethnic studies plays in helping students think critically about our history and understand the experience of marginalized communities in our state,” Newsom wrote. “This academic discipline will help prepare our young adults to become civically engaged and participate fully in our democracy.”

For those reasons, Newsom said, he signed a separate bill last month making ethnic studies a graduation requirement for all 430,000 undergraduates in the California State University system.

But, Newsom said, the high school bill, authored by Assemblyman Jose Medina (D-Riverside), would come “at a time when there is much uncertainty” about what content should be included in a K-12 ethnic studies course.

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