The uber-conservative advocacy group PragerU officially infiltrated another state’s classrooms on Thursday, with the New Hampshire Board of Education voting unanimously to allow a portion of their content to be used by students.
New Hampshire is now the third state to approve PragerU material this summer, but its agreement with the right-wing non-profit appears to vary significantly from how Florida and Oklahoma schools plan to use its material.
While the breadth of PragerU Kids, which includes hundreds of videos and interactive activities, has been approved for teachers to use in Florida and Oklahoma, only certain high school students in New Hampshire will be able to take PragerU’s “Cash Course”—a financial literacy program—to receive a half of a credit toward graduation.
The “Cash Course” videos appear to be apolitical, covering topics like how to take out loans, how to pay taxes, and how to fill out W-2 employment forms. Financial literacy competency became a half-credit graduation requirement this school year in New Hampshire.
“This is really recognizing that all of our students need the best possible educational opportunities,” Department of Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut said in a press conference Thursday. “And this provides another tool in their toolbox to make sure that they get a good education.”
However, in a testy Thursday meeting during which the New Hampshire State Board of Education voted to approve “Cash Course,” some teachers and residents expressed fears that the financial literacy videos were just the tip of the iceberg.
“Approval of this course would serve as a gateway to its founders’ conservative ideology,” resident Janet Ward said during two-and-a-half hours of public testimony, according to the New Hampshire Bulletin.
It’s unclear if New Hampshire teachers will be permitted to supplement lessons with other PragerU or PragerU Kids material, which includes hundreds of videos and articles that have been labeled “propaganda” by some critics for their conservative spin on hot-button cultural issues and historical events. Some content goes as far as bashing “woke identity politics” and Pride Month, while others tell kids how to embrace their masculinity and how to take care of an American flag.
A spokesperson for New Hampshire schools emailed a press release to The Daily Beast in response to a list of questions about the partnership. The release specified that taxpayer funds aren’t going to PragerU and that students’ use of “Cash Course” is optional.
New Hampshire’s decision is a win for PragerU, which has pushed hard this summer to have its nationalist, unabashedly conservative videos be played in classrooms throughout the country.
Despite its name, PragerU is not an accredited academic institution. It was founded in 2009 by the conservative radio host Dennis Prager and has been a controversial entity ever since.