Fairfax County schools defending $20K presentation from anti-racism scholar

The Fairfax County school district is defending its decision to pay $20,000 for an author who spoke to its administration and school leaders about racism for one hour.

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The speaker is Ibram X. Kendi – the author of How to be an Anti-Racist.

The $20,000 price tag means the district paid Kendi more than $300 a minute.

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Kendi discussed how racism impacts students’ learning.

The district says it was a timely topic selected by the staff – but it comes at a time when people are scrambling for funds to address how to navigate distance learning and in-person learning for students.

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They say Kendi is a scholar in the subject matter – and that he spoke virtually to Fairfax County Public Schools officials and the school board at a leadership conference in August.

He spoke about how to cultivate an anti-racist school community.

The criticism surfaced on Twitter, when several users questions Kendi’s bill amid the pandemic.

The virtual event included Kendi’s 45-minute speech, followed by a question and answer session.

The virtual event included a Kendi’s 45-minute speech followed by a Q&A session.

FOX 5 asked the district if the money could have been spent on something more germane to the current education climate – like technology training for teachers or more resources for transitioning back to in-person learning.

They say funds allocated for COVID-19 have specific uses beyond Kendi’s presentation.