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How Conservatives Can Directly Defund DEI in K-12 Education

Posted on Thursday, January 25, 2024
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by Outside Contributor
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17 Comments
DEI in education

Three years ago, Republicans were reluctant to take direct aim at diversity, equity, and inclusion. It just sounded too nice to oppose. Better, political strategists thought, to go after the toxic concepts and practices by a different name: critical race theory.

After years of public debate and controversy, a substantial share of the public understands the core ideas, be they labeled CRT, promoted as “social justice,” or implemented as DEI. And as policymakers ponder how to root out this ideology from higher education, it is important that they also revisit K-12 education for places where their policies failed to bear fruit because they didn’t use quite the right words.

A few weeks before American universities’ morally demented reaction to the Hamas attack against Israel helped to solidify citizens’ understanding of the true meaning of DEI, USA Today ran an article claiming that K-12 public schools spend about $20 billion per year on DEI training. Of the 45 major school districts they examined, seven came from Florida. Tampa, for example, spends $36 million per year on DEI training for its teachers. 

The most popular DEI training, according to USA Today, is Glenn Singleton’s “Courageous Conversations,” which explicitly peddles critical race theory. Rounding out the top five is “UnboundEd,” which explicitly teaches anti-white racism (insisting that there’s no such thing as a good white person).

But wait — isn’t that against the law in Florida? Possibly, but Florida’s anti-CRT law, as with virtually every anti-CRT law, wasn’t clear enough in its language or savvy enough in its structure to accomplish the goal that many of its supporters hoped that it would. The official materials used by the state of Florida to promote the Stop WOKE Act claimed it “prohibits school districts, colleges, and universities from hiring woke CRT consultants.” But it clearly didn’t.

That’s because Florida’s Stop WOKE Act listed a series of concepts that “woke CRT consultants” may not explicitly endorse. But what if, instead of self-declaring as “woke CRT consultants,” they call themselves “DEI consultants”? What if they promote those concepts through slightly different words? Or, what if they promote those concepts directly with the backing of local officials who want to spend tens of millions of dollars on left-wing indoctrination instead of, you know, tutoring or teacher pay?

This is why the budding effort to dismantle DEI bureaucracies in higher education should be accompanied by an effort to defund DEI consultants in K-12 education directly. 

There are two key elements to an effective strategy for the latter. The first, which was unthinkable three years ago but is becoming more common in legislative language, is to name DEI directly to send an unambiguous signal to local school administrators. The second, which has not yet been attempted, is to task state superintendents with creating lists of vendors that are ineligible to receive state funding.

This second step is key. Simple statutory language is inadequate to defund the constant linguistic churn of CRT/DEI/”woke” consultants effectively; there must be an element of executive discretion. A state secretary of education should be charged with creating and annually updating a list of vendors that the state will not permit its money to flow to. “Courageous Conversations” obviously belongs on that list, as does “UnboundEd.” But so, too, would “Brave Talks” or “Boundless Ed,” if either of those two companies decide to form spinoffs to try to get around the law.

Last week, Florida issued its final regulations to dismantle DEI in its higher education system. Education Commissioner Manny Diaz should explore whether the law gives him the flexibility to issue a regulation specifying “woke” K-12 consultants that are ineligible for state funding. If not, it should be an easy fix for the legislature to do so. 

Defunding DEI consultants won’t, of course, fix the culture of American education overnight. But with so many problems facing this generation of students, not spending $20 billion dollars on divisive indoctrination consultants would certainly be a step in the right direction. 

Reprinted with permission from AEI by Max Eden.

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David Millikan
David Millikan
2 months ago

Excellent article. Fire ALL teachers and administrators pushing this Trash on our children. Cut ALL State and Federal funding for DEI, CRT garbage be pushed on our children. NO raises of any kind and Defund the Department of DUHmacation and put control of our children’s education back in the parents hands where it belongs.

Leslie
Leslie
2 months ago

I think Obama was the starting point of DEI, when he started brain washing elementary age students in their schools by teaching them all his crooked ideals. Conservatives are not allowed to speak about their principles in the schools, so this is a win for the Democrats. Until this nation gets back to God and the Constitution put in place by out Founding Father’s, this fight will continue. Praying through this and putting Conservative principles into the heads of our children are our best bet. However, these days Biden is doing a real good job of showing the Country what he stands for.

Richard
Richard
2 months ago

“…K-12 public schools spend about $20 billion per year on DEI training.” What? Really? What a waste of time and money. My money!

Tettles
Tettles
2 months ago

DEI is a DISASTER

abe z
abe z
2 months ago

DEI is being pushed by BLM who is hugely for terrorism and anti Israel, the connection is there, DEI and BLM have no place in America

Mario Capparuccini
Mario Capparuccini
2 months ago

DEI equals division, exclusion, and incrimination. It came from hell and needs to be driven back to hell.

A Voter
A Voter
2 months ago

There is one and only one way to reverse and fix our education system. The interference from the federal government must be eliminated from education at all levels. From K through 12 as well as the universities, federal dollars are used to manipulate what is taught. The department of education must be abolished. The flow of tax dollars at the federal level into our education system must be halted completely. When federal tax dollars are in play, education systems teach to the dollars given and not to the necessary subjects. At all levels of education liberal bias and influence are paid for by the deep state via our own tax dollars and it must be stopped.

PapaYEC
PapaYEC
2 months ago

Ultimately, it requires a quickening of spirit via repentance and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, then a change of mind and “heart” via the Holy Spirit sent to live in us.

corbin douthitt
corbin douthitt
2 months ago

IMHO the DEI/ Woke bs can be stopped by just ignoring them. You don’t respond to them, you do not acknowledge them and you do not give them anything.

cs erfus
cs erfus
2 months ago

i jus got fired for being white

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