This evening, October 23, community members have an opportunity to comment at district headquarters, 720 Santa Barbara Street, on implementing ethnic studies courses as a high school graduation requirement. The October 23 meeting at 6 p.m. is being held in anticipation of a November 13 vote by the Santa Barbara Unified School District on next steps.
According to the Ethnic Studies Now! Coalition, the Ethnic Studies Curriculum increases graduation rates, helps close the achievement gap, and reduces truancy among high school students, especially those who come from underrepresented backgrounds. Some ethnic studies courses are available at the district’s high schools, but are not part of formally established programs for all students. A second board meeting, yet to be formally scheduled, will again discuss the potential graduation requirement before a final vote.