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El Paso schools to pay $215,000 to consultant group for equity audit


(The Center Square)- The El Paso Independent School District is hiring the anti-racist consulting group Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium Inc. for $215,000.

The non-profit will provide an “equity audit” of the school district and review whether the current school policies, procedures and practices are equitable. The school district approved the contract at its Feb. 20 meeting.

Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium Inc. is a nonprofit consulting group that states on its website its mission is to “achieve social justice.”

Influence Watch, a project of Capital Research Center that reports on advocacy groups, described Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium as providing “critical race theory-aligned diversity” training.

El Paso Independent School District is one of the most recent districts to utilize the nonprofit’s technical training program, according to documents.

The district is looking to spend $215,000 on the equity assessment, effective Feb. 21, 2024, through Feb. 20, 2025.

Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium, Inc. provided a sample audit on its website from 2021. In that equity audit, it asked the question: “Does the school have a policy regarding using names students identify as their preferred name and personal pronouns?” A school district gets a better equity rating if it does.

The nonprofit charges fees for the services offered through training, but most costs have been paid for from 2017 through 2021 by government units, according to the financial documents filed with the IRS.

Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium, Inc. directed questions to the El Paso school district, which did not respond to an email seeking comment.