California Schools Pay Students To Educate Teachers About Racism

long beach equity training
Government of California, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

By Adam Andrzejewski for RealClearInvestigations

Topline: A California school district used $2 million of taxpayer funds to train high schoolers to fight for racial and social justice, according to records obtained by The Free Press.

Key facts: Long Beach Unified School District hired the group Californians for Justice in 2019 to give equity and leadership training to students and teachers in its 84 schools.

As part of the contract, which is still ongoing, 78 students and 13 parents received stipends of about $1,400 to participate in internships with CFJ.

Among other programs, Californians for Justice hosted 15 student-led training sessions for teachers. High schoolers taught their own teachers about implicit bias and racism, costing the school $25,000. Teachers skipped programs about designing lesson plans to attend the sessions, The Free Press reported.

CFJ’s website says its goal is to “organize marginalized youth, particularly young people of color, immigrant, low-income, and LGBTQ youth to create the healthy, just and vibrant schools all our communities deserve.”

Last October, the group made an Instagram post describing Israel’s war in Gaza as “ethnic cleansing and apartheid orchestrated by white supremacist settler colonialism bent on the goal of wiping out the indigenous Palestinian population.”

Background: Auditors at OpenTheBooks found that Long Beach Unified Superintendent Jill Baker is among the highest-paid employees in all of California with over $371,000 in earnings in 2022.

There were 106 more educators making over $150,000 at the school district in 2022.

Critical quote: Jay Goldfischer, a history teacher in Long Beach, told The Free Press that “One of the reasons that [CFJ] was hired is to help our students find their voice and be able to express it, but in reality, CFJ is not helping students find their own voices. It’s giving them a scripted voice that’s not their own. They’re teaching them parroting, which is the exact opposite of how you empower children.”

Another school employee called the stipends for students and teachers a “horrible propaganda strategy.”

Supporting quote: “Our agenda is not hidden and is simple: we want the Long Beach Unified School District to be a place where every student is represented honestly in classrooms and curricula, and where they are safe to be in critical dialogue supportive of democratic participation across differences,” a CFJ spokesperson told The Free Press in an email.

Summary: Perhaps the taxpayer money used for high schoolers to run their own classes should be reserved to teach students math and reading.

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Syndicated with permission from RealClearWire.

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