Adam Andrzejewski at RCP, Maryland Schools Spend $1 Million on Anti-Racism Consultants
An increased focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion in schools has led to exorbitant spending on outside consulting groups to implement diversity training.
In Maryland, Montgomery County Public Schools paid the Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium, an equity consulting group, over $1 million since 2020 to implement an anti-racism curriculum in their schools, according to an investigation from Parents Defending Education.
The Washington Free Beacon reported that, while spending on diversity, equity and inclusion training for kids has skyrocketed, test scores have gone down.
Literacy readiness in Montgomery County has dropped 30 to 40 percent since 2020, and only 54 percent of high school students test at or above a proficient level for reading.
Former Montgomery County school administrator Dee Reuben told the Free Beacon, “Parents are livid. I hear this every day — parents are afraid to speak out because they're afraid of the repercussions that will happen to their kids. Academics is going down the tube, and I think that is a shame considering we were one of the top school systems around — it breaks my heart.”
One of the projects that the Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium has sponsored is a survey emailed to parents, asking, “To what extent does [Montgomery County Public Schools] support racial equity and disrupt systemic racism through its policies, procedures, structures, and practices?”
It also asks if parents think their children should be taught to “recognize, understand and interrupt racism,” according to the Free Beacon.
In the grand scheme of educational spending, a million dollars really isn't a lot of money, and if I really thought it was being used to combat actual racism I would consider it money well spent. But I have a sneaking suspicion it's just a way for administrators to pretend to be doing something, while the money is mostly raked of into the "diversity" racket. A bit of research suggest that might be the case: Wa Free Bee, Prominent Diversity Consulting Firm Funded Entirely by Taxpayer Dollars, "Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium conducts 'anti-racist' trainings across 15 states and U.S. territories"
A prominent equity consulting firm that conducts "anti-racist" trainings is funded entirely by taxpayer dollars, tax filings reveal.
The Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium (MAEC) is a self-proclaimed "social justice" nonprofit that conducts "anti-racist audits" for corporations and schools, often in partnership with far-left groups such as the Southern Poverty Law Center. The consortium was recently awarded a lucrative contract by Maryland's largest school district and works with educators across 15 states.
MAEC's influence comes at the taxpayer's expense. According to its most recent tax filings, the group hauled in $2 million solely from government grants between mid-2018 and mid-2019. It has not reported a single private donation in four years. MAEC's reach is made possible thanks to a partnership with the Department of Education.
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City Journal‘s Christopher Rufo told the Washington Free Beacon that taxpayers shouldn't foot the bill for "divisive pseudosciences."
"This has become activists' primary strategy: securing taxpayer funds to push the deeply ideological agenda of critical race theory," Rufo said. "This kind of program plays on a double-standard. It would be unimaginable for a taxpayer-funded organization to teach a pro-life or pro-gun message in public school, but it has become commonplace to have taxpayer-funded organizations teaching extreme left-wing doctrine in public schools."
The MAEC has raked in a steady stream of government grants over the years. Of the $19 million the group has raised since 2001, $17 million is from taxpayer-backed cash, according to a review of its financial filings. Its most recent tax forms show that from mid-2018 to mid-2019, the group spent $1.6 million on "equity projects" to examine and address systematic policies and practices, nearly $233,000 on "family engagement" projects to build partnerships among schools and parents, and nearly $74,000 on youth projects. Susan Shaffer, the group's president, has received more than $200,000 in compensation, and Maria Del Rosario Basterra, its vice president, has collected more than $140,000 from the nonprofit.
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