by Kendall Tietz
President Joe Biden administration’s newly proposed $5.8 trillion federal budget includes massive spending increases for the Department of Education to promote “racial” diversity.
The new education allocations for fiscal year 2023 include “$100 million for a new Fostering Diverse Schools program” which will use grants to help communities “develop and implement strategies that will build more racially and socioeconomically diverse schools and classrooms, ” according to the Department of Education’s (DOE) budget summary.
The program is part of an attempt to “address the well-documented, persistent negative effects of racial isolation and concentrated poverty” through “efforts to increase school racial and socioeconomic diversity in preschool through grade 12.”
As part of the initiative, the federal government will partner with state educational agencies “that have significant achievement gaps and racial or socioeconomic segregation within or across districts.”
Federal budgets are an expression of values. This proposal reflects the Biden-Harris Administration’s deep belief in the importance of education & the success of our students. https://t.co/QbqMwIAyFx pic.twitter.com/LtEYQrJGlo
— Secretary Miguel Cardona (@SecCardona) March 28, 2022
President and Founder of Parents Defending Education Nicole Neily said the new budget’s focus on equity and diversity is sowing distrust between families and schools by prioritizing “everything but student learning.”
“The White House’s 2023 education budget is a betrayal of American families who expect schools to educate children in the basics and keep students safe … why not encourage and fund programs to address the learning loss plaguing the American education system?” she said in the statement. “Student proficiency in reading, writing, and mathematics are at abysmal levels in the wake of the pandemic – and even prior to that, were devastatingly low.”
Another budget item allocates $1 billion for a “School-Based Health Professionals program” to support the mental health needs of students and their families “by increasing the number of counselors, nurses, and health professionals in our schools, and building the pipeline for these critical staff, with an emphasis on schools serving underserved students.”
School counselors have been criticized for using mental health initiatives to push what critics decry as the tenets of Critical Race Theory (CRT), including “social and emotional learning screeners,” “anti-racism practices” and “equity initiatives,” the Daily Caller News Foundation previously reported.
CRT holds that America is fundamentally racist, yet it teaches people to view every social interaction and person in terms of race. Its adherents pursue “antiracism” through the end of merit, objective truth and the adoption of race-based policies.
“They [educators] are increasingly prioritizing their activist agenda over the actual care of the majority of children,” PDE Vice President of Strategy and Investigations Asra Nomani said in a previous statement.
“In some cases, addressing behavioral issues has become the entry point for controversial ‘restorative justice’ programs that too often leave victims vulnerable and perpetrators free from accountability, in the name of ‘equity,’” she said. “With students today suffering significant learning loss and serious brain health issues, we need to ditch the activism and focus on academics and the overall wellbeing of students.”
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Kendall Tietz is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.