After realizing that Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and others were funding woke education initiatives, parent groups are pushing back.
According to a Fox News story, more than two dozen parent groups have asked five separate organizations to cease sponsoring social emotional learning and race-based education programs in public schools.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation are among the five organizations. Both the Wallace Foundation and the Windward Fund contribute to the SEL and race-based initiatives.
According to Fox News, a Parents Defending Education study discovered that 72 school districts received more than $200 million from the five organizations between 2017 and 2021. While the majority of the funds were allocated to Denver Public Schools in Colorado and Battle Creek Public Schools in Michigan, payments were also distributed to eight additional school districts in Texas, Florida, Kentucky, Ohio, and California.
The Gates Foundation has also provided financial support to “implement equity-focused teaching such as equitable grading” through the Baltimore City Public Schools’ Fund for Educational Excellence, the Denver Public Schools Foundation, the Tulare County Office of Education, and the NY City Dept. of Education’s Fund for Public Schools Inc.
Several foundations also provided financial assistance to the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning. The Allstate Foundation is recognized as a corporate supporter on CASEL’s website. CASEL has adopted Critical Race Theory’s key ideas.
CASEL also released a blog post from the “Queer Mathematics Teacher,” an education consulting business run by a self-described “queer Latinx independent math coach and activist scholar” that attempts to implant gender identity ideology into math classes.
“Our organizations find it profoundly worrisome that grants… are being utilized to push these patronizing policies,” the 26 parent organizations stated in a letter to the five foundations, adding, “Students should be treated as individual people, not members of identity groups.”
Tiffany Justice, co-founder of Moms for Liberty, told Fox News, “We as parents would like to see the focus returned to academic performance, where our children are taught practical skills.”
Meanwhile, Nicole Neily, President of Parents Defending Education, stated, “A number of these initiatives — equity, social emotional learning — are actually being utilized to push a lot of identity based curriculum.”
According to a spokeswoman for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, “investments in racial justice and racial reconciliation, comprehensive community participation, and local, diverse, and intergenerational leadership are vital to driving children to achieve success in the classroom and beyond.”
Neily said that the movement for woke education is “happening in red states” and “happening in tiny places,” and that it isn’t limited to blue states or huge cities.