Decision to California Hindu Textbook Controversy

On 27 February 2006, after listening to 3 hours of public comment and after receiving 1500 pages of written comment, a five member of panel of the Board adopted a recommendation of accepting the actions on the edits proposed by the staff of the California Department of Education (CDE). The subcommittee approved some 70 changes but it rejected proposed revisions from VF and HEF on monotheism, women's rights, the caste system and migration theories.

On 8 March 2006, the full Board agreed with the February 27 decision, voting (9 to zero, 2 abstentions) to reaffirm only the changes approved on February 27, and to overturn the rest of the changes suggested by the HEF and VF, with two exceptions: the Aryan Migration Theory would be mentioned as disputed by scholars, and the Vedas would be referred to as sacred texts, rather than songs or poems. Most parties expressed qualified satisfaction with the decision; however, the Hindu American Foundation (HAF), that had not participated in the revisions, threatened the board with a lawsuit.

Ruth Green, past president of the SBE, said that the ruling "represents our best efforts. Many ideological fault lines have played out here. These beliefs are deeply held.".

A PR firm hired by the VF and the HEF alleged that, "What is at stake here is the embarrassment and humiliation that these Hindu children (in America) continue to face because of the way textbooks portray their faith and culture." Janeshwari Devi of VF said that "The two foundations submitted about 500 proposed changes, and more than 80 percent were not approved."