LCPS Spends $422k+ On CRT: September 22, 2020

Loudoun County Public Schools spent $422K on controversial critical race theory curriculum in past two years

West NOVA News 9/22/2020:

Since 2018, Loudoun County Public Schools has spent $422,500 in taxpayer funds “training” staff on critical race theory, according to public documents obtained by West Nova News.

The total includes $314,000 in 2019 for “coaching” and meetings hosted by The Equity Collaborative, an Oakland, Calif.-based consulting firm that specializes in helping school districts “create… social justice by addressing bias and oppression.”

The group’s leader, Jamie Almanzán, worked previously for the Pacific Educational Group, led by Glenn Singleton, the nation’s leading advocate of “white privilege” training in public schools.

Singleton is a longtime critic of what he calls “white talk” which is discriminatory because it is too “verbal, impersonal, intellectual and task-oriented.”

Almanzán was the counter-signer on a contract with Loudoun Public Schools on April 3, 2019 that sent $242,000 to the group. 

Itemized costs included $120,000 for an eight-day “Systemic Equity Assessment.” For that trip, three members of The Equity Collaborative were paid $5,000 per day. 

Almanzán later returned to deliver an equity plan for which he and another consultant were paid a combined $32,000 over the course of four days to deliver a “District Equity Plan.” 

From March to December 2019, Almanzán was paid $10,000 for two days of work for the school system per month, for a total of $90,000. 

An addendum to the contract was executed resulting in Almanzán returning for an “Equity in the Center Co-Facilitation” that lasted four days with three other contractors and cost the school district $22,000. 

Mandated new “norms” of behavior

The spending is part of a campaign to combat what the Loudon school leaders call “systemic racism.”

A “comprehensive equity plan” promises to “develop a Culturally Responsive Education Framework (CREF) to inform all instructional practices in every LCPS school.”

It will equalize school pass rates by black, hispanic and white students and require inclusion of more black and hispanic students in honors classes.

The student population racial breakdown for the 2019-2020 school year was 46 percent white, 23 percent Asian, 18 percent Hispanic, 8 percent black and 6 percent multiracial.

Another goal of the framework: hiring fewer white teachers and to mandate that “100% of new teachers will engage in on-boarding training sessions on Equity and Culturally Responsive Instruction.”

The plan also promises more ongoing “instruction” of teachers on concepts like “white privilege and “equity literacy and racial consciousness.”

An “Equity Leads Team” would enforce “explicit (new) norms of behavior” by teachers and school staff.

It would also establish new discipline standards for black and hispanic students with a goal of “(decreasing) exclusionary discipline practices” and improving “(white) students positive perceptions” of diversity.

“In CRT, racism is seen as an inherent part of American civilization, privileging White individuals over people of color in most areas of life, including education,” an Equity Collaborative study pack titled “Intro to Critical Race Theory” reads. 

Superintendent Eric Williams’ letter announcing the program in 2019 lamented that the district’s principals and teachers had a “low level of racial consciousness and racial literacy.”

Williams complained that they would try to “steer the conversation away from race to focus on poverty.”

Critics of Critical Race Theory argue the concept is inherently racist against the white demographic. 

Prsident Trump recently banned Critical Race Theory education from being carried out in the federal government.

In a Sept. 5 memo Russell Vought, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, said the federal government has spent millions of taxpayer dollars on what he called “divisive, anti-American propaganda.” 

Vought directed the heads of executive branch departments to identify and eliminate such coursework involving “white privilege” or “critical race theory” in their departments.

Last week Trump spoke about the issue White House Conference on American History. 

“(Critical Race Theory) is especially harmful to children of minority backgrounds who should be uplifted, not disparaged,” Trump said. “Teaching this horrible doctrine to our children is a form of child abuse in the truest sense of those words.” 

A group of black activists have applauded Trump’s efforts against critical race theory, calling it a “tired, old and evil idea that has no business being supported by taxpayer dollars.”