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CONCORD, NH – The state’s Board of Education decided to table a vote until next month on far-right nonprofit PragerU’s proposal for a financial literacy course. At Thursday’s meeting, board members said they wanted more information about how the proposal would be implemented.
The bid would allow students to fulfill a graduation requirement by completing an optional online video-based financial literacy course created by the organization.
The vote followed heated criticism from education stakeholders and community members, many who condemned PragerU as racist, anti-LGBTQ and anti-science during public comment.
“Even though this course is about financial literacy, PragerU’s world is filled with people who are white supremacists and white nationalists,” David Trumble of Weare said.
Jamie Henn, a Concord public schools parent, attended his first board of education meeting to speak out against the application. He said he worried accepting the financial literacy course would set a dangerous precedent.
“It’s clearly an attempt to try and get the stamp of approval from the Board of Education so that they can be seen as a serious educational nonprofit when, in fact, they’re a political organization,” he said.
Others questioned the rigor of the material, noting its brevity and limited modes of assessment.
Michael Bessette, Assistant Superintendent of the Kearsarge Regional School District, said the online course does not replicate classroom learning.
“There’s literally 36 questions that are asked that are multiple choice questions,” he said. “There’s no hands-on application, there’s no rigor whatsoever. There’s no analysis. There’s no synthesis.”
Despite its name, PragerU has no academic accreditation. Earlier this week, Florida approved the use of the non-profit materials in its schools.
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