By Corinne Murdock
An online social justice curriculum funded by Big Tech giants, EverFi, promised $15 gift cards to teachers who successfully got other teachers to start their students on one lesson.
According to an email obtained by the AZ Free News, Peoria Unified School District (PUSD) teachers were incentivized with $15 Amazon gift cards by an EverFi director of K-12 implementation. One of EverFi’s foremost contributors is Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos through his investment company, Bezos Expeditions.
“As a thank you, earn a $15 Amazon gift card for every teacher you refer who gets students started on one EVERFI lesson – just click the Invite a Teacher button (terms) I’m here for you – schedule a time with me to support you and/or your students,” read the email.
PUSD has incorporated EverFi for years, according to staffers.
“Until we have affordable and accessible healthcare for everyone, there is an inequity that exists in this country.” – Mayor Johnny Ford
— EVERFI (@EVERFI) May 11, 2021
Curriculum obtained by AZ Free News showed that EverFi lesson plans included the histories of Juneteenth and affirmative action, assertion of systemic racism, and the promotion of equity instead of equality.
Last September, EverFi committed $100 million to expanding their social injustice and economic inequity lenses within their K-12 education curriculum. [RELATED: EVERFI Announces $100 Million Commitment to Address Systemic Social Injustice and Economic Inequity through Free Digital Education for Nation’s K-12 Schools]
EverFi is advertised as free for K-12 teachers. The company reportedly offsets the cost through national and regional partners.
PUSD staffers confirmed that although the district has used EverFi for around a decade, educators use it sporadically. In an email obtained by AZ Free News, Executive Director of K-12 Curriculum & Professional Development Marla Hobbs claimed that few teachers utilize Everfi. She added that those who do use the resource use it on odd occasions.
EverFi was founded in 2008, with a focus on obtaining major corporate sponsors to fund their educational initiatives.
Now, over a decade later, they have accomplished just that. Some of their noteworthy contributors over the years include Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO; Evan Williams, founder of Twitter, Medium, and Blogger; and Eric Schmidt, Google Executive Chairman.
Other big businesses also have their hands in Arizona’s public education. Companies like Boeing and Wells Fargo are part of the Arizona Educational Foundation Board, an initiative focused on bringing social justice to classrooms. The Arizona Educational Foundation has pushed a program called “Our World,” which aims to provide educator and business training and workshops on antiracism, equity, diversity, and inclusion.
Much like EverFi, Our World is free of charge to Arizona schools.
Corinne Murdock is a contributing reporter for AZ Free News. In her free time, she works on her books and podcasts. Follow her on Twitter, @CorinneMurdock or email tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.