Randi Weingarten slammed for asking for more COVID funding after CRT link: ‘Shameful’
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American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten has asked for billions more for funding for the Elementary and Secondary Schools Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER), despite reports that part of it has been used to advance the Critical Race Theory (CRT) curriculum in schools across the country.
The One Nation group discovered last month that several blue states used billions of dollars in US bailout funds earmarked for COVID-19 relief to push CRT into schools.
The act provided more than $122 billion to the Elementary and Secondary Schools Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER), which has helped several states implement ‘implied bias’ and ‘anti-racism’ training , among other programs, according to One Nation research shared with and verified. by Fox News Digital.
“One thing we can do right now to help is tell our lawmakers to extend COVID emergency funding, so we have the resources to get the people who need it most vaccinated, tested and treated,” Weingarten tweeted on May 13.
CALIFORNIA, NEW YORK AND ILLINOIS USED COVID-19 RELIEF FUNDS TO PUSH CRT INTO SCHOOLS
“Randi Weingarten’s attempt to lobby lawmakers for an additional $22.5 billion in ESSER COVID funding is shameful, especially because schools would have only spent about 7% of the funds they already have. received,” Mary Miller, associate of Parents Defending Education Private School Advocacy told Fox. News Digital this week. “Are schools incentivized to teach when claiming ‘learning loss’ seems like a surefire way to extort American taxpayers?”
Weingarten did not respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.
In response to the One Nation report, the US Department of Education said it does not make curriculum decisions.
“The department does not encourage the use of U.S. bailout funds to teach CRT — and any claims to the contrary are patently false,” the department told Fox News Digital.
But in August 2021, Quincy Notre Dame High School, a Catholic school in the Diocese of Springfield, Illinois, began using the CRT program “Culturally Responsive Learning (CRL) Initiative” by Gloria Ladson-Billings of Savvas Learning Company LLC. Savvas’ website says the program “aligns with authorized ESSER funding activities,” according to Parents Defending Freedom (PDE). Billings is a critical race theorist who sits on the CRL Advisory Board.
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Parents contacted PDE to express concern about the CRT framework used in the “myPerspectives” program, according to the group, saying school officials told them that “Quincy Notre Dame secured ‘Title I’ funding for the implementation of the new ELA program.” Title 1 is the federal program responsible for administering K-12 COVID relief funds.
In a letter to parents at Quincy Notre Dame, principal Mark McDowell pushed back against the narrative that their program included CRT.
“QND, for many years, has had a business relationship with Pearson, an educational publisher,” he wrote. “Pearson was sold in 2019 and is now owned by the parent company of Savvas Learning. Although QND has adopted a new English curriculum – myPerspectives – for the 2021-2022 school year, we have not adopted Critical Theory of the breed (CRT).”
McDowell also took issue with the chair of their English/Language Arts department approving the adoption of the new curriculum, while defending the curriculum as a whole.
“That’s not true,” he said. “Our curriculum adoption process is a group enterprise. Departments engage various companies and determine which resources best align with their discipline’s standards. The school administration ultimately determines which company we work with based on a number of factors, including the financial resources available to us.Ultimately, we believe and maintain that myPerspectives resources provide our students and staff with a variety of learning opportunities through which students can demonstrate their knowledge and understanding.
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Still, the curriculum has been described as ideological and has been used in several other school districts, including the Rochester City School District, Lake Washington School District, and Thatcher Unified District in Arizona.
“It seems the entire education sector knows how to use Covid-19 relief funds to advance critical race theory, under the guise of ‘learning loss,'” Miller said in a statement reporting the results.” Program providers like Savvas put CRT icons like Gloria Ladson-Billings in charge of the program, then push it to schools as “ESSER-aligned funding.” Schools purchase the program and apply for ESSER funds. It has nothing to do with learning loss. It’s a gravy train. But the parents are waking up. They are not on board.”
In a statement to Fox News Digital, a spokesperson for Savvas said none of its instructional materials were based on a CRT framework and said Ladson-Billings had never been in charge of the curriculum. in Savvas.
“Savvas Learning Company is committed to providing the teachers and students we serve with high-quality, research-based, and standards-aligned educational materials. We take great care to present balanced, unbiased, and accurate content in all of our learning solutions. None of our teaching materials are based on, refer to, or include specific lessons on the Critical Race Theory framework,” said spokesperson Richard Weir.
“Gloria Ladson-Billings served for a year as a consultant on a Savvas advisory board that offered suggestions on classroom practices to make learning more student-centered and relevant. for today’s learners At no time was Mrs. Ladson-Billings ever ‘in charge of curriculum’ at Savvas Learning Company, as the article erroneously reports, and she never played any role in developing the content of our learning solutions.”
Weir added that Pearson was not sold in 2019 and was not under Savvas Learning’s parent company.
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Fox News’ Jessica Chasmar and Joshua Q. Nelson contributed to this report. This article has been updated with a response from Savvas Learning Company.