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Ethnic Studies Professional Development

General information regarding professional development and resources to support ethnic studies courses.

Ethnic Studies Professional Development Project

Section 132 of the Education Omnibus Trailer Bill (Assembly Bill 130) for the 2021–22 California State Budget External link opens in new window or tab. appropriated $5 million from the General Fund for the State Department of Education, in collaboration with, and subject to the approval of, the executive director of the State Board of Education (SBE), to contract with a county office of education (COE), or consortium of COEs to provide local educational agencies (LEAs):

  • Professional development and regional training for teachers, administrators, and paraprofessionals to support creation or expansion of ethnic studies course offerings, including, but not limited to, courses that use the ethnic studies model curriculum (ESMC).
  • An online repository of resources to support ethnic studies courses. This includes the collection and review of materials to be made available for educators to use in implementing the ESMC.

Professional learning provided pursuant to this section shall be content focused, incorporate active learning, support collaboration, use models of effective practice, provide coaching and expert support, offer feedback and reflection, and be of sustained duration.

Ethnic Studies in California Background

Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum

In 2016, Assembly Bill 2016, Chapter 327 (Statutes of 2016), required the Instructional Quality Commission (IQC) to develop, and the SBE to adopt, a model curriculum in ethnic studies. The bill also encouraged each school district and charter school that maintains grades nine through twelve to offer a course of study in ethnic studies based on the model curriculum. The initial deadline for SBE action was March 31, 2020.

The adopted ESMC is aimed at empowering students by illuminating the often-untold struggles and contributions of four groups central to ethnic studies: Native Americans, African Americans, Latino/a/x Americans, and Asian Americans. The document includes University of California and California State University a–g-approved ethnic studies course outlines and lessons that expand beyond the four traditional disciplines of ethnic studies to help local districts tailor a course to meet local student needs.

While its use is not mandated, the curriculum is intended to supply local school districts with the background, ideas, and examples to begin local discussions on expanding ethnic studies offerings. The ESMC also encourages schools to include discussions on the ethnic heritage and legacies of students in their communities.

Additional information about ESMC adopted by the SBE on March 18, 2021, is available from the Model Curriculum Projects web page.

Ethnic Studies Graduation Requirement

On October 8, 2021, the Governor signed AB 101 External link opens in new window or tab. , titled Pupil instruction: high school graduation requirements: ethnic studies. This adds the completion of a one-semester course in ethnic studies to high school graduation requirements commencing with pupils graduating in the 2029–30 school year. LEAs must offer the course by the 2025–26 school year.

Although the minimum course length to fulfill this requirement is one semester, LEAs may choose to require a full-year course in ethnic studies. LEAs also have some flexibility in determining how a student may satisfy this course requirement. Four options include:

  • A course based on the model curriculum in ethnic studies developed by the IQC;
  • An existing ethnic studies course;
  • An ethnic studies course taught as part of a course that has been approved as meeting the a–g requirements (with some restrictions); or
  • A locally developed ethnic studies course approved by the governing board of the school district or the governing body of the charter school.

To the extent that LEAs choose to locally develop an ethnic studies program for approval by their governing board or governing body, it is the intent of the Legislature that LEAs not use the portions of the draft model curriculum that were not adopted by the IQC due to concerns related to bias, bigotry, and discrimination

Ethnic Studies Professional Development Contract

The Budget Act of 2021, required the California Department of Education, with approval of the executive director of the SBE, to select a COE, or a consortium of COEs, to enter into a contract to provide professional development (PD) and resources to support LEAs offering new and expanded ethnic studies courses. PD and regional training will be provided for teachers, administrators, and paraprofessionals to support creation or expansion of ethnic studies courses.

The contractor will also develop and provide access to an online repository of resources to support ethnic studies courses. PD and professional learning provided as part of this contract will be content focused, incorporate active learning, support collaboration, use models of effective practice, provide coaching and expert support, offer feedback and reflection, and be of sustained direction.

The Ethnic Studies Professional Development (ESPD) Request for Application (RFA), Funding Profile, and Funding Results are below:

ESPD RFA Web Page

Funding Profile

Funding Results

The timeline for the selection process is provided below. Information is subject to change.

Activity Date
RFA available Week of December 27, 2021
Technical assistance webinar for applicants January 4, 2022
Intent to Apply due January 12, 2022 (4 p.m.)
Applications due February 14, 2022 (4 p.m.) (Updated on February 9, 2022)
Intent to Award posted March 7, 2022
Appeals due March 14, 2022 (4 p.m.)
Notification of Final Award posted March 18, 2022
Contract work begins July 1, 2022 (dependent on contract approval by the Department of General Services)

Program Authorization

AB 130, Statutes of 2021 External link opens in new window or tab. Section 132

Questions:   Educator Excellence and Equity Division | ESMCPD@cde.ca.gov | 916-323-6440
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, March 8, 2022
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