A California school district shelled out $20,000 for “Woke Kindergarten” education consulting in an elementary school.
Parent activist group Parents Defending Education first found out about the contract between Hayward Unified School District and the group, which is being paid for teacher training that will last a month and cover “anti-racist” and anti-bias instruction at Glassbrook Elementary School, the Washington Examiner exclusively reported last week. Erika Sanzi, the parent group’s director of outreach, called the organization “ideological indoctrination” that has “no place in a kindergarten classroom or any classroom.”
The contract abstract for the district says employees and teachers will “learn how to use Woke Kindergarten’s resources and pedagogical approaches in practice as a way to disrupt whiteness, white dominant/settler colonial narratives and anti-Blackness in the Glassbrook community.”
The group’s website explains that it is “supporting children, families, educators and organizations in their commitment to abolitionist early education and pro-black and queer and trans liberation.”
Fox News reported the contractor agreement said Woke Kindergarten was brought in for “thematic unit planning and coaching,” while the financial impact statement said the training’s purpose was to “continue … anti-racist, anti-bias training and connect to building thematic units along with coaching.”
The extent of the contract also involves utilizing Woke Kindergarten’s materials to “disrupt whiteness, white dominant/settler colonial narratives and anti-Blackness in the Glassbrook [Elementary School] community.”
The proposal also noted that the group collaborated with Glassbrook Elementary for the 2021-2022 school year “to facilitate four workshops and support staff in creating and implementing healing-centered, early childhood & elementary tools and frameworks to support teachers in supporting children’s holistic needs in the classroom.”
Michael Bazeley, Director of Public Information and Governmental Relations at Hayward Unified School District, told The Daily Wire over email, “[a]t this time, we have no comment on that topic,” regarding Woke Kindergarten.
The news comes after some California schools have refused to divulge information on how they spent COVID funding.
Nonprofit outlet CalMatters reached out to several school districts earlier this year to find out how their COVID money was spent, but some have not discussed the details. The outlet sent public records requests to over 30 public school districts in the state.
Through federal or state initiatives over the past two years, $33.5 billion one-time funding went to California’s K-12 schools to help them deal with the effects of COVID. Over the course of three months, CalMatters looked into the spending at specific school districts, only to be ignored or told they couldn’t provide information by certain districts.
Oakland Unified and San Francisco Unified (SFUSD) both refused to give the outlet their transaction data, and Stockton Unified, Elk Grove Unified, Klamath-Trinity Joint Unified, and Los Angeles Unified (LAUSD) hadn’t given the outlet any information either. LAUSD had recognized the request from March, but had not provided data the week CalMatters published its report.
“Unfortunately, The District is unable to locate any document responsive to your request,” Geri Baskind, a district legal assistant for Oakland, wrote to the outlet regarding CalMatters’ March records request.
A letter from SFUSD reportedly said, “The District does not use an accounting system that would allow us to extract the transactional level information requested.”
While some district authorities say there are lots of difficult reporting guidelines, education proponents and some parents have said the details around who is being paid and what is being bought is many times unknown.
The Daily Wire has reached out to LAUSD, OUSD’s student services, SFUSD, Stockton Unified, Klamath-Trinity Joint Unified, and Elk Grove Unified.
SFUSD provided a press release to The Daily Wire about the 2022-2023 budget, as well as an interactive budget dashboard. An item on the dashboard noted that $60,000 was budgeted for “Cdc-Schl Based Surveilln” in 2020-21, and $59,620 was in 2021-22, both from a general fund.
LAUSD provided The Daily Wire with a presentation from a May Committee of the Whole budget workshop, pointing to a slide that “shows the various timelines of COVID funds.”