Parents Push Back as Liberal Foundations Fund Woke Education Programs

Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg AP Photos
AP Photos/Seth Wenig, Andrew Harnik

Parent organizations are pushing back after learning that Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and others were bankrolling woke education programs. 

Over two dozen groups of parents are requesting that five different organizations stop funding social emotional learning (SEL) and race-based education programs in public schools, a report from Fox News explains. 

Among the five organizations are the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, as well as the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Both the Wallace Foundation and the Windward Fund are also involved in the funding of the SEL and race-based programs.

Fox News reported that an investigation from Parents Defending Education found that 72 school districts received over $200 million from the five foundations from 2017 and 2021. While most of the money went to Denver Public Schools in Colorado and Battle Creek Public Schools in Michigan, funds also went towards eight other districts in Texas, Florida, Kentucky, Ohio, and California. 

Fox News pointed out that the Gates Foundation also provided monetary support to “implement equity-focused programming such as equitable grading” through the Denver Public Schools’ Foundation, the Baltimore City Public Schools’ Fund for Educational Excellence, the New York City Department of Education’s Fund for Public Schools Inc, and the Tulare County Office of Education.

The Collaborative for Academic, Social, Emotional Learning also received financial support from several of the foundations. Breitbart News reported that the Allstate Foundation is listed on CASEL’s website as a corporate sponsor. CASEL has endorsed the core tenets of Critical Race Theory.

Breitbart News also reported that CASEL published a blog post from the “Queer Mathematics Teacher,” an education consulting firm run by a self-described ​​“queer Latinx independent math coach and activist scholar” who seeks to embed gender identity ideology into math courses. 

The 26 parent organizations wrote a letter to the five foundations, remarking, “Our organizations find it deeply troubling that grants … are being used to advance these patronizing policies,” also saying, “Students deserve to be treated as individuals and not members of identity groups.”

Co-founder of Moms for Liberty Tiffany Justice told Fox News “We as parents would like to see the focus put back on academic achievement, where our children are being given practicable skills.” 

Meanwhile, President of Parents Defending Education Nicole Neily added that “A number of these programs — equity, social emotional learning — are actually being used to push a lot of identity based programming.”

A spokesperson for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation defended the race-based approach to education, saying “investments in racial equity and racial healing, comprehensive community engagement and local, diverse and intergenerational leadership are essential to propelling children to achieve success in the classroom and beyond.”

Neily explained that these programs were not confined to blue states or large cities, but that the push for woke education is “​​happening in red states” and “happening in small cities.”

Spencer Lindquist is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SpencerLndqst and reach out at slindquist@breitbart.com

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