A Pennsylvania school district shelled out more than $68,000 on a no-bid contract to conduct a “race-based discrimination [and] harassment investigation.”
In February, Upper Adams School District in Biglerville, Pennsylvania, announced that it used the Philadelphia-based law firm, Fox Rothschild, to conduct an “independent, unbiased assessment of the District’s policies, procedures, and response to alleged acts of racism and/or ethnic discrimination recently shared by students and alumni of Biglerville High School on social media.”
According to invoices acquired via public records request filed by Parents Defending Education (PDE), a grassroots parents organization, the district spent $68,231.50 on the investigation over three months. The district paid in three installments. The first invoice was for $30,840.50, the second for $21,503, and the third for $15,888.
PDE requested that the district share copies of bids and proposals received from other organizations and consulting firms. The district said no, “as no other records exist.”
It appears that the district spent the money on the race-based investigation despite being strapped for cash. A June 30 financial projections analysis indicates that the school district went $428,000 over budget.
Upper Adams joins a slew of east coast public school districts that have shelled out thousands on “anti-racist audits” in light of the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement. Loudoun County Public School district in Loudoun County, Virginia, spent $422,500 in taxpayer funds on “diversity training” inspired by critical race theory. The district spent $314,000 in 2019 alone on coaching and training sessions hosted by a California-based consulting firm called “The Equity Collaborative.”
Montgomery County Public School district in Maryland similarly spent more than $450,000 on an “anti-racist audit” intended to create “equitable outcomes for every student’s academic and social-emotional well-being.” The district awarded a one-year contract to the consulting firm Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium for $454,860.
Upper Adams administrators also announced that the school district has “embarked on a comprehensive Anti-Racism Plan” that “strives to eradicate racism and discrimination on and off its campuses in a sustainable manner.” The school released part one of the Anti-Racism Plan, which claims to be part and parcel of the district’s “broader Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiative.”
Part two of the plan will include the Fox Rothschild’s report and “will include recommendations, inclusive of practical ways to drive greater leadership effectiveness, promote trust and collaboration with the community, and emphasize the well-being of students, faculty and staff.”
The district has partnered with a slew of left-wing education organizations including the NAACP and the Lincoln Intermediate Unit 12, which provides “education and racism experts” who “will assist in this process to take a deeper look at our district practices for opportunities to implement improvements in promoting inclusivity, cultural sensitivity, and equity.” Lincoln Intermediate Unit 12 provides “climate surveys” for the district as well.
The plan also announced upcoming training for faculty and staff during the 2021-2022 school year. Training includes programs such as “What is Equity?,” “Staff Identity & Intersectionality,” “Unconscious Bias Training,” “Culturally Responsive Pedagogy,” “Basic Restorative Practices,” and “Culturally Responsive Teaching,” among others.
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