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Pittsburgh School District may hire controversial diversity consultant

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(The Center Square)- The Pittsburgh School District may soon hire a consultant that’s drawn scrutiny for its alleged critical race theory training.

The district is reviewing a contract with Courageous Conversations, formerly Pacific Educational Group, for Racial Equity Affiliate training from Jan. 31, 2024, to Feb. 28, 2025. It will focus on providing training through coaching and curriculum to two Board of Education employees in order to become certified Beyond Diversity facilitators, according to the Jan. 17 school board agenda documents.

The two employees will be set on the accelerated program to receive both the practitioner and facilitator certifications. The contract is not to exceed $14,000.

The consulting firm, under its former name, faced a legal challenge while working with Tredyffrin-Easttown School District in Chester County.

American First Legal, a non-profit, sued the Tredyffrin-Easttown on behalf of Ben Auslander, a student’s father, who had attempted to view the materials used by the district to educate the children.

The district and the organization told Auslander that he could not copy or take pictures of any material used for educating staff and children, claiming the organization had copyright protections.

American First Legal released all 166 pages of the documents on their website here.

The materials used by the California-based education consultant say “systemic Racism is the most devastating factor contributing to the diminished capacity of all children,” according to documents used to inform the curriculum.

Critical race theory began in academia as a concept that posits that race is a social construct reinforced by legal, economic and cultural barriers that discriminate against people of color.

Critics say the theory encourages racism, rather than dismantles it. Further, they argue, it doesn’t belong in public school classrooms.

“This should forever end all debate. Our innocent children are being viciously indoctrinated with CRT by Marxist radicals. This lawless, extremist, poisonous bigotry must be defeated,” America’s First Legal President, Stephen Miller, said in a statement.

Pittsburgh Public Schools and Courageous Conversations did not respond to The Center Square’s comment requests.

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