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York County leaders try to cut funding to school system for teaching ‘divisive’ ideas


The York County Board of Supervisors is considering a resolution that threatens to suspend funding for the county’s school system if educators teach “divisive” ideas.

President Chad Green on Oct. 18 approved an amended proposal from Member Walter Zaremba that said if the school division teaches material or “ideologies” based on the state’s cultural skills training, the county will “continue. not to offer taxpayer money ”.

A vote is scheduled for November 16. It will come after critics criticized school boards across the country for months for what they claimed was the inclusion of critical race theory in K-12 grades.

Basically, Zaremba said, the resolution seeks to uphold the state code which states that a parent has the right to “make decisions about the upbringing, education and care of the child. parent “. This implies that Virginia’s social and emotional learning program has no educational or academic value for students.

Additionally, the proposal criticizes state law that requires educators to undergo culturally appropriate training, claiming that mandatory assessments encourage “the teaching of ideologies that likely contradict the social, moral and religious beliefs of the community. ‘child of parent’. And according to the resolution, these violate state law.

“Teaching an ideology that sets standards for what a child should think and feel is an emotional indoctrination that must stop,” the two-page document reads.

If the York County School Division breaks the cited law, according to the proposal, city supervisors will not distribute local funding. Green clarified in an interview on Wednesday that the board intends to continue to “fully fund” schools, but will not pay for “division programs” or teaching materials similar to the critical theory of race.

Zaremba’s proposed resolution stems from a similar policy – denouncing the teaching of Project 1619 and Critical Race Theory – which was approved last month in Stafford County. Although school officials advised Stafford supervisors that neither were included in the division’s curriculum, the board passed a resolution to prevent such teaching at the future.

York County intends to mirror some of the measures in Northern Virginia, including a review process that would allow supervisors to reject funding for programs that parents do not approve of. When asked how the review process would work, Green said the two councils should have a conversation.

“We want to make sure that (these programs) are not taught or implemented,” he said. “The supervisory board tries to be proactive, not reactive.”

In an interview Thursday, Zaremba said Virginia’s skills and SEL training reflect similar sentiments associated with critical breed theory.

But critical race theory is not taught in Commonwealth public schools and is unrelated to teacher skills training, said Ken Blackstone, executive director of communications for the Virginia Department of Education on Thursday. , in an email.

Earlier this year, the General Assembly passed a law requiring teacher assessments to include training in inclusive and culturally appropriate practices as part of the state’s equity framework. But educators are not required to implement this in the school curriculum.

“Cultural competence is important so that teachers can be informed about the students who are in their class,” York County School Board Chairman Brett Higginbotham said in an interview. Cultural awareness can help educators develop equitable solutions for positive outcomes among students according to their needs.

Zaremba proposed the initial draft on October 5, then Green asked the school board to join supervisors in signing the resolution. Higginbotham suggested the two governing bodies work together to create a draft, but on Monday, Higginbotham said, the school board received an amended proposal that it had not participated in the drafting.

Zaremba told The Pilot that the board refused to sign the final draft.

“As either of the resolutions currently stands, the school board cannot sign them because they align with ideology and political beliefs on one side and school boards are organizations politically. neutral, ”Higginbotham said. “The school board would not sign a joint resolution that it had not participated in drafting. “

Thursday, the supervisors had not “tried to engage” the school board to modify the proposal. It can be revised and is open for discussion until voting day, Green said.

Sierra Jenkins, 229-462-8896, [email protected]


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