Fair Act Overview
About the FAIR Education Act
The Fair, Accurate, Inclusive, and Respectful (FAIR) Education Act SB 48
signed into law by California Governor Jerry Brown, July 14, 2011
According to cosponsors Equality California and the Gay-Straight Alliance Network, the purpose of Senate Bill 48 (SB 48) was to end the exclusion of LGBT history in education and to promote school safety. After it was signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, it became the FAIR Education Act. The purpose of the act is based on a study by California Safe Schools Coalition showing that inclusion of LGBT people in instructional materials is linked to greater student safety at school for both straight and gay students and lower rates of bullying. The California SB 48 Fact Sheet states that in schools where the contributions of the LGBT community are included in educational instruction, bullying declined by over half, and LGBT students were more likely to feel they have an opportunity to make positive contributions at school. SB 48’s changes to the California Education code took effect in January 2012, instructing public schools and the State Board to:
- Add instruction in history-social science about the role and contribution of persons with disabilities; lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans; and other ethnic and cultural groups to the economic, political, and social development of California and the United States, with a particular emphasis on portraying the role of these groups in contemporary society,
- Prohibit teachers from instructing, or a school district from sponsoring, any activity that promotes discriminatory bias on the basis of race or ethnicity, gender, religion, disability, nationality, or sexual orientation, and
- Adopt textbooks and instructional materials that accurately portray groups as identified.