Calif. Senate Wants to Make Sure Students Learn About the 1st Black President

Erin C.J. Robertson
President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill Jan. 24, 2012, in Washington, D.C.
Saul Loeb-Pool/Getty Images

The California state Senate is attempting to make sure that students learn about the meaning of Barack Obama’s presidency long after his two terms in office. On Thursday it approved a bill by a 30-1 vote that would encourage schools to give lessons about the historic nature of Obama’s status as the United States’ first black president, reports the Associated Press. The bill will return to the Assembly for a final vote.

A.B. 1912, by Democratic Assemblyman Chris Holden of Pasadena, would require a state educational advisory board, the Instructional Quality Commission, to consider framing Obama’s election within the context of past voter disenfranchisement, said Democratic state Sen. Holly Mitchell, notes AP. The California Board of Education would then implement the commission’s recommendation.


Mitchell said of the bill that it’s important for schoolchildren to learn about “overcoming our nation’s past to elect our first black president,” reports the news agency.

Republican state Sen. Joel Anderson is the only senator who voted to strike down the bill, because he doesn’t believe President Obama should receive preferential treatment. “We’ve never done this for any previous president,” he said, reports AP.

Read more at Capital Public Radio.

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