New Hampshire Board of Education Approves PragerU Online Course

Board of Education unanimously approves PragerU's video series on financial literacy as an accredited course for high schoolers.
New Hampshire Board of Education Approves PragerU Online Course
NH Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut and PragerU CEO Marissa Streit. (Courtesy of PragerU)
Alice Giordano

The state of New Hampshire approved on Sept. 14 of an online course produced by a conservative nonprofit group that denounces climate change and white supremacy theories.

The day after the state's Board of Education unanimously approved PragerU's video series on financial literacy as an accredited course for high schoolers, Rolling Stone Magazine ran a lengthy article entitled "PragerU’s Right-Wing Playbook for Infiltrating Public Education Is Working."

In the article, New Hampshire Democrat Cinde Warmington, a 2024 gubernatorial candidate and current member of the state's Executive Council, is quoted as saying, "PragerU truly just has no place in our schools."

Mrs. Warmington, in the past, has voted for funding of planned parenthood and promoted Pride Month. In a 2020 letter to the editor, she called for "advancing LGBTQ+ justice."

In her opposition to the PragerU course, Mrs. Warmington asked the New Hampshire Attorney General's Office to declare the company's referring to itself as a university as consumer fraud.

On Monday, three days prior to the board's approval of the curriculum, the AG's office issued a statement ruling that the nonprofit itself acknowledged that it offers "edutainment" and that it has made it "very clear it does not hold itself out to be an institute of higher learning."

Other state Democrats, including the New House Democratic Caucus, referred to the PragerU curriculum as dangerous, accusing the company in a post on "X" of "spreading  misinformation and teaching incorrect history."

The free curriculum Democrats have deemed dangerous is called Cash Course. It consists of 15 five-minute videos with titles such as "Understanding Taxes," "What is An Economy," and "Insurance Basics."

'Student Loan 101'

Another video entitled "Student Loan 101" starts off with an enactment of a college student explaining that she was able to afford a $500 designer T-shirt from the "free money she got from her student loan."

The narrator responds by advising the student that "the money isn't free—you have to pay it back with interest."

"It's called a loan for a reason," the narrator tells the student. "Student loans are a kind of debt." The video goes on to explain the various types of student loans.

Republicans call criticism of the video series hypocrisy, considering that taxpayers fund a wide variety of curricula, with many pointing to the widespread use in public schools of an app called Sora. The app has been protested by parents around the country, including in New Hampshire, after they discovered it gave their children access to pornographic material.

"There's porn on there, and they are calling a conservative curriculum dangerous? That's crazy!" Laurie Kench, a Newburyport, Massachusetts, parent, and member of the parents rights group Citizens For Responsible Education (CRE), told The Epoch Times.

CRE recently reached a settlement with the town in a case that came about after Mayor Sean Reardon tore down its meeting signs posted in the public school library. The Daily News of Newburyport reported that Mr. Reardon sent the newspaper a text saying he took down the signs because the parent group was “not in line with the City of Newburyport’s values of being an inclusive and welcoming community.”

Melissa Blasek, Executive Director of Rebuild NH, told The Epoch Times that it's "high time" the conservatives start countering the radical ideology being taught to kids in public schools.

"If one were to object to every required curriculum written by a left-wing author, there would be precious little curriculum offerings left," she said.

Anne Marie Banfield, a North Hampton, New Hampshire, mom who has led efforts to pass parental rights legislation in the state, recalled a time she and a group of parents protested a school district's adoption of the book "Nickel and Dimed" written by social activist Barbara Ehrenreich, who died in 2022.

Despite Mrs. Ehrenreich's having no professional background in finance, the school adopted her book for its personal finance class, citing its "literacy value."

"Personal Finance is not a literature class where one would expect a book to be assigned to children that pushes Marxist propaganda," said Mrs. Banfield.

Dozens of parents recently objected to a poster promoting transgenderism that was displayed at the middle school library in Goffstown, New Hampshire.

Among them was Nancy Biederman, who told The Epoch Times that at least the PragerU curriculum is an alternative and not something that is forced on students.

Mrs. Biederman pointed out that the middle school library where the poster was put up without parental input serves students as young as 10 years old.

The curriculum has been highly touted by New Hampshire Education CoFmmissioner Frank Edelblut, a Christian father of seven homeschooled children, five of whom are now adults.

Mr. Edelblut did not respond to inquiries from The Epoch Times or issue a public statement about the adoption of the Cash Course.

In a video made with PragerU CEO Marissa Streit, Mr. Edelblut refers to the curriculum as "quality content."

Students can choose the PragerU curriculum over classroom work to earn course credit toward its financial literacy core requirements.

Controversy in Other States

The adoption of PragerU has stirred controversy in other states, including Texas, Missouri, and Florida, the first state to adopt PragerU programs into its schools' core curriculum.

Last month, WUSF public media ran a segment accusing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a 2024 U.S. presidential candidate, of contradicting his "education, not indoctrination" motto by promoting PragerU.

For the segment, The University of South Florida-owned radio station featured Jessica Wright, a former teacher who is now vice president of the Florida Freedom to Read Project.

Ms. Wright said PragerU represents "what we would refer to as a logical fallacy, meaning the material that you're reading or listening to might sound like it makes sense."

Mrs. Blasek said she believes some are objecting to PragerU's curriculum, not because of its content, but because the company itself is right-wing.

Many have pointed to a PragerU video of  Christoper Columbus as support for its argument that the company promotes slavery. In the video, Columbus calls "slavery as old as time and has taken place in every corner of the world." He goes on to ask, "Being taken as a slave is better than being killed, no?"

"Before you judge, you must ask yourself what did the culture and society of the time treat as no big deal," the animated video concludes.

PragerU says its mission is to "promote American values" and offer a" free alternative to the dominant left-wing ideology in culture, media, and education."

Alice Giordano is a freelance reporter for The Epoch Times. She is a former news correspondent for The Boston Globe, Associated Press, and the New England bureau of The New York Times.
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