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Louisiana Dems Try and Fail to Punish Education Superintendent Over PragerU Partnership, Smear Org as ‘Antisemitic’

louisiana-dems-try-and-fail-to-punish-education-superintendent-over-prageru-partnership,-smear-org-as-‘antisemitic’
Louisiana Dems Try and Fail to Punish Education Superintendent Over PragerU Partnership, Smear Org as ‘Antisemitic’

Louisiana Democrats tried and failed to oust the state’s education superintendent this week after he announced a partnership with PragerU, with lawmakers claiming he is infusing “political indoctrination” into public schools.

PragerU, which describes itself as a nonprofit that promotes American values “through the creative use of education videos that reach millions of people online” and a “free alternative to the dominant left-wing ideology in culture, media, and education,” announced its partnership with Louisiana in front of over 7,000 teachers at the Teacher Leader Summit on May 28, making it the seventh state to do so. Under the partnership, teachers are not required to use PragerU Kids materials, but they have the option to supplement relevant videos in their curriculums without fear of being reprimanded or fired for making room for a conservative perspective in the classroom.

State Democrats immediately launched an attack against both Superintendent of Education Dr. Cade Brumley and PragerU by attempting to block Brumley’s reconfirmation this week and by introducing resolutions, SR 152 and HR 323, explicitly condemning PragerU as “discriminatory and anti-Semitic.” 

“Louisiana’s children deserve unbiased, fact-based education free of political agendas,” said a statement by Rep. Edmond Jordan, D-Baton Rouge, who chairs the Black Caucus. “Instead, Superintendent Brumley betrayed his responsibilities to help rewrite history in service of right-wing extremists.”

It should be pointed out that the co-founder of PragerU, Dennis Prager, is Jewish and was appointed by President George W. Bush to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council, among other accolades. PragerU’s CEO Marissa Streit moved to Israel at a young age, where she completed her primary education and served in military intelligence unit 8200 of the Israel Defense Forces.

“We are proud to partner with the state of Louisiana and their Superintendent of Education Dr. Cade Brumley by offering PragerU Kids resources for classrooms. After announcing our partnership last week at the Teacher Leader Summit with 7500 in attendance we were met with an overwhelmingly positive response from educators,” Streit said in a comment to Breitbart News this week. 

“Immediately, left wing political activists including elected officials in the LA legislature attempted to smear us with slanderous attacks and baseless accusations that we are anit-Semitic! The effort to end the partnership thankfully continues to backfire on the bad faith actors and teachers in Louisiana can still use PragerU Kids’ free, optional resources,” Streit added. “We are thrilled that goodness prevailed in Louisiana! All it takes for bad guys to win is good guys stepping back. But when good guys actually fight back there is a good chance that they will, in fact, win.”

A spokesperson for PragerU told Breitbart News the organization is considering legal action against lawmakers who engaged in smears against them. 

Excited to see this partnership come to fruition! The PragerU resources support Louisiana’s nationally recognized Freedom Framework for Social Studies education. Thank you to Louisiana’s Superintendent @cadebrumley for keeping American values in our classrooms!…

— Governor Jeff Landry (@LAGovJeffLandry) May 30, 2024

Last Thursday, Sen. Cleo Fields (D) summoned Brumley to appear before the Committee on Government Affairs for questioning about the state’s partnership with PragerU. At the time, Brumley was in the final stage of approval for his second term as superintendent.

Questioning last Friday was ultimately moved to executive session, which allowed it to take place behind closed doors. Several lawmakers who showed up to support Brumley were allegedly turned away by staffers in violation of the rules, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Democrats subsequently introduced the resolutions condemning the use of PragerU in schools, and lawmakers engaged in an effort to bring the resolutions to a floor vote before the legislative session ended on Monday.

“Senator Fields should respect the people of Louisiana enough to research actual facts before he orchestrates the introduction of a Resolution that somebody else wrote. He’s way out of his depth here. PragerU is deeply committed to Constitutionalist principles. Cleo Fields… pic.twitter.com/dC6nXzygG1

— Louisiana Freedom Caucus (@LAFreedomCaucus) May 31, 2024

By last Friday, the Louisiana Freedom Caucus announced it was prepared to block the Democrat resolutions and introduce their own resolutions praising both Brumley and PragerU.

“The audacity and sheer ignorance of this attempt by our Democrat colleagues to smear one of the leading Jewish voices in America as antisemitic is a testament to the Democratic Party’s shoot, ready, aim method of operation that has left them on life support in Louisiana,” said State Rep. Beryl Amedee, chairwoman of the Louisiana Freedom Caucus.

“Prager University is renowned for teaching American exceptionalism, and our imperfect founding, yet they also teach that our American ideals and values are superior to those who wish to enslave America to communism,” she continued. “We at the Louisiana Freedom Caucus welcome the balance that the PragerU/LDOE partnership brings to school curriculum to counter the hate-America agenda of the Left that is rampant in our country today.”

Ultimately, Brumley was approved unanimously when the Senate went into executive session on Monday, and Democrat efforts to push through resolutions against him and PragerU did not progress before the legislative session adjourned.

Conservative house members, including Rep. Dodie Horton, are celebrating the reconfirmation of Superintendent @cadebrumley, who was the subject of controversy last week that led to rumors he wouldn’t be confirmed. (I have not been able to independently confirm this) #lalege https://t.co/kyKBFL5ym8

— Piper Hutchinson (@ByPiperHutch) June 3, 2024

“Louisiana’s Freedom Framework social studies standards are among the best in the nation,” Brumley said in a comment to Breitbart News. “Our state was one of the first to adopt a new, rigorous set of social studies standards based in American exceptionalism and our ongoing quest for a more perfect union. PragerU Kids completed a crosswalk of their videos to Louisiana standards, which could be very helpful for teachers and parents electing to use their supplemental materials.”

While still near the bottom of the list, Louisiana’s education ranking has improved under Brumley. 

“We have our highest national ranking that we’ve ever held, and so we have a lot of momentum — but clearly we have more work to do,” Brumley said in an interview with Streit last week. “Oftentimes we hear about math and English proficiency being low, and it is obviously too low, but if we look, social studies, history, and civics are actually our lowest proficiency numbers…And so we wanted to do something about that.”

Brumley emphasized that the state’s Freedom Framework “doesn’t shy away from hard topics.” 

“It goes into all the hard topics, and we don’t run away from that. But at the same time, America from its beginning was exceptional. And I believe that, and I believe that our students need to appreciate the majesty that is America,” he said. “And they need to understand the struggles, the sacrifices — they need to understand their responsibility to sustain and to improve upon our constitutional republic.”

RELATED: WATCH — Dennis Prager: Corporate Media Fear One PragerU Video “Will Undo All the Leftism” of Years of Public School

Matt Perdie / Breitbart News

Katherine Hamilton is a political reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow her on X @thekat_hamilton.

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