Written by Mike Catalini | AP
TRENTON, N.J. — Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy said Tuesday that his administration is expanding Advanced Placement African American Studies courses next year from one school to 26 in New Jersey after Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis blocked the course from being taught in public schools in Florida.

Murphy’s move comes about a month after the administration of DeSantis, a potential presidential candidate, declared without citing any evidence that the course violates state law and isn’t historically accurate.

Murphy cited Florida as he unveiled the course expansion Tuesday during a visit to a Newark high school alongside state education officials and Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, saying DeSantis is prioritizing “political culture wars” over academics.

“New Jersey will proudly teach our kids that Black History is American History,” Murphy said in a statement. “While the DeSantis Administration stated that AP African American Studies ‘significantly lacks educational value’, New Jersey will stand on the side of teaching our full history.”

A message seeking comment was left with DeSantis’ spokespeople.

The courses have begun in 60 schools nationwide as part of a two-year pilot phase and are set to expand to hundreds next year.

Florida’s move stirred a debate over the courses.

DeSantis said the course seeks to push an agenda and violates the Stop WOKE Act he signed last year, which prohibits instruction that defines people as necessarily oppressed or privileged based on their race.

Critics say DeSantis is sending a message that Black history doesn’t count in Florida.

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