Newsom says ‘education is under attack’ over book bans and speech suppression

California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) said Wednesday that ‘education is under attack’, criticizing book bans across the country, efforts to suppress speech and ‘the otherness of our students, teachers , parents”.

“I believe education is under attack in a way that I have never experienced in my life. I really believe it. I thought it was bad back when people debated the merits or demerits around the good ones,” Newsom said during an address to the National Education Policy Forum after receiving the Frank Newman Award. for State Innovation from the States Education Commission.

“You know, in the good old days, in the 90s, in the days of black and white cinema, and people had different opinions about what were called ‘charter schools,'” he said. he reflected. “But what happens now? Ban books, remove speech, the otherness of our students, teachers, parents? It is alarming.

He criticized Florida, for example, after its Department of Education in April rejected dozens of math books, citing alleged references to or inclusion of critical race theory (CRT) and social-emotional learning (SEL).

The CRT, which is typically taught in institutions of higher learning, is a decades-old theory that asserts that racism is woven into the laws, institutions, and history of the United States.

SEL programming aims to help students manage their emotions, develop and manage health identities and relationships, and make responsible decisions, among other goals.

Newsom also criticized Texas for cutting hundreds of millions of dollars in mental health funding after Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) earlier this year redirected more than $200 million from the State Health and Human Services Commission, which oversees Texas mental health services, toward its border security initiative.

“But what about the whole person? What about the well-being of our children? Everyone talks about a good sanity game now,” Newsom said.

“There’s a big state, Texas, where they cut mental health funding by $211 million. Do you know why I’m here? Because we just increased mental health by $4.7 billion in our public education system in the state of California.

Newsom has been considered a potential 2024 Democratic presidential candidate, although the California governor said in an interview last year that a presidential bid has “literally never been 100% on my radar. “.

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