SARASOTA COUNTY, FLA. (WFLA) — The plan to hire a controversial outside consulting firm for the Sarasota County school district has hit the skids.
After four hours of public comment, the school board rejected the proposal to bring an independent consultant company on board in a 3 to 2 vote.
The proposal to hire Vermillion Education has been a source of contention for weeks.
Vermillion Education is run by Jordan Adams, a 31-year-old former Director of Curriculum at Hillsdale College.
Hillsdale College is a Christian, conservative school based in Michigan.
The proposed contract would have called for Vermillion to examine textbooks, lesson plans, district discipline policies and practices, and the collective bargaining agreement with the teacher’s union.
Opponents said the firm would have cleared the way for politics and religion to enter the classroom.
Board members who supported the consulting firm said it was about bringing in a fresh perspective and ensuring the school district remained compliant with education requirements from the state legislature.
Statement from Moms for Liberty-Sarasota County Chapter Chair Alexis Spiegelman:
“While I’m not discounting the value Vermilion brings to the district based on their contribution towards identifying and removing CRT and other inappropriate material from math books in Florida, I believe that there is value in having members of the Sarasota County School Board roll up their sleeves and invest their own time in identifying the strengths and weaknesses in the district as it stands. How will they effectively oversee the Superintendent and make an informed vote on a new strategic plan unless they genuinely understand what is and is not currently working? Based on our current strategic plan’s failure to meet its prescribed benchmarks, it is time for the Board to produce a report evaluating the return on investment in academic achievement that the current strategic plan is providing to Sarasota County taxpayers.”