Ethnic Studies Laws By State

Does your state require schools to teach ethnic studies?

Lawmakers in many states have introduced legislation to mandate ethnic studies lessons in K-12 schools. Some states have required schools to teach ethnic studies in history lessons, or as its own course.

Researchers at the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law created the below document, which tracks ethnic studies requirements by state. Parents and advocates can use this tool to search for laws, or past bills introduced in state legislatures, that direct how schools teach ethnic studies to K-12 students. 

Ethnic studies sounds great, and students should learn about a wide variety of cultures as part of world history. However, activists have used ethnic studies to push politicized narratives about race-based privilege or oppression. Ethnic studies focuses on assigning blame to groups instead of individuals. Drafts of ethnic studies standards have peddled anti-Semitism, and have gone so far as to classify the Jewish people as oppressors.

The Brandeis Center and PDE Action share a core value: We believe that all Americans, regardless of race, sex, or religion, deserve equal treatment under the law. We’re incredibly grateful to the Brandeis Center for allowing us to publish their research.

Learn more about ethnic studies with our Ethnic Studies Palm Card. Or, watch this video from Parents Defending Education, featuring Brandeis Center Vice Chair and General Counsel L. Rachel Lerman.

Find your state on this spreadsheet below. For quick browsing, press Command + F and type in your state’s abbreviation.