But a new report from The Daily Wire’s Luke Rosiak shows that many schools are still closed and some of those funds went toward “Critical Race Theory-infused initiatives” to promote diversity, inclusion and equity (DIE) and “Social Emotional Learning.”
Chicago Public Schools, for example, received $2 billion in “Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief” funding. But the city “earmarked $32 million of ARP money to a ‘comprehensive, culturally responsive curriculum’ developed ‘through the Curriculum Equity Initiative,’” Rosiak reported.
Yesterday, the Chicago Teachers Unions voted to shut down in-person learning, with 73% of teachers in support of the walkout. So much for local districts preparing to “safely reopen.”
Milwaukee schools will not be open to in-person learning until January 10, but the city “allocated $24 million of its ARP money to ‘Social Emotional Learning,’ including $100,000 for ‘Anti-Racism and Bias Professional Development.’”
Terms like “anti-racism” and “anti-bias” come straight out of critical race theory [CRT], which many of our readers are familiar with. It is an activist movement that includes teaching children that America is inherently and systemically racist, and it includes the notion of “intersectionality,” that people have identities based on sex, race, language, “gender identity” and “sexual orientation.”
CRT can also include the practice of segregating children into race-based “affinity groups” as part of “anti-racist discrimination.” It is also anti-capitalist, anti-family and aggressively favors transgenderism and homosexuality.
But “Social Emotional Learning” (SEL) may be less familiar, though equally troubling. It’s one of the latest educational theories to come down the pike and into public schools. The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) calls it “therapeutic education” and gives a definition that says:
SEL is ‘the process through which all young people and adults acquire and apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions and achieve personal and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and caring decisions.’
In its report on SEL, AEI says that it takes education beyond a focus on “academic standards, testing, and accountability” and “is an unwelcome intrusion into what is traditionally the work of families, faith, [and] culture.”
SEL moves schools away from academics to “monitoring, molding, evaluating, and assessing students’ attitudes, values, and beliefs.” AEI says SEL pushes teachers into roles “they are unqualified and unsuited to play” as they use curriculums that meddle with students’ identities, emotions and opinions.
So instead of helping schools deal with the medical risks of COVID for teachers, staff and students, assist students academically and prepare for reopening, Milwaukee schools are focusing on ideas from CRT and SEL.
Other states are also using money purposed to “safely reopen schools” for CRT and SEL. Rosiak writes:
Michigan promoted using an “equity lens” to apportion money, including spending it on “professional development for all staff members in social emotional learning, trauma-informed care, and implicit bias.”
The state was spending on a program that “challenges Whiteness and hegemonic epistemologies in school,” while schools in cities like Detroit, Oak Park and Lansing were holding classes online for the third straight year.
Massachusetts schools were hiring race consultants with ARP funds for schools to “create a culturally responsive, anti-racist and welcoming environment.”
Virginia, Minnesota, Oregon, Washington, New York and Nevada followed suit, allocating funds to programs that promote DIE, CRT and SEL.
Rosiak said the ARP act was deliberately written to encourage spending on these social and political agendas, as it has fewer strings attached to spending and doles out money over a five-year period, instead of immediately addressing pandemic-related issues.
Related articles and resources:
Photo from Shutterstock.