Education Commissioner Manny Diaz Jr.: Florida ‘Has NEVER Paid’ Consulting Firm for CRT-Related Work

July 11, 2022 Updated 6:20 PM ET

28th Education Commissioner of Florida Manny Diaz Jr.
28th Education Commissioner of Florida Manny Diaz Jr.

July 11, 2022 Updated 6:15 P.M. ET

TALLAHASSEE (FLV) – The Florida Department of Education Commissioner said Florida did not pay a consulting firm for Critical Race Theory work after a POLITICO article implied that it did.

“The Department of Education has NEVER paid MGT for any work related to Critical Race Theory during the Governor Ron DeSantis Administration. Full stop. Implying otherwise is dishonest reporting,” said Education Commissioner Manny Diaz Jr.

The article said the state paid $700,000 to MGT Consulting firm that embraces and teaches racial inclusivity.

“MGT Consulting’s lessons, according to its website and reports it has produced, appear to be in direct opposition to DeSantis’ effort to root out the use of race or gender in K-12 education or workforce training,” the article said.

“The company has also done extensive work for Florida government entities, including using “race and gender” data that was “used to shape policy designed to increase diversity in [state university] institutions,” the article said.

Alex Lanfranconi with the Florida Department of Education responded to POLITICO asking for the outlet to make changes.

“It’s completely irresponsible to imply we’re paying MGT for any work regarding Critical Race Theory. There is no evidence of this accusation whatsoever and it is entirely false,” Lanfranconi said. “We’ve never contracted with MGT for anything related to Critical Race Theory since Governor Ron DeSantis took office.”

The POLITICO article showcased examples from Colorado of the firm outlining how it is “well-versed” in critical race theory. 

“The Department does not police the work our contractors complete for other clients. Providing sporadic examples of MGT work in other states for unrelated organizations and attempting to connect it with the Florida Department of Education is dishonest and disappointing,” Lanfranconi’s statement said. 

Governor DeSantis signed the “Stop WOKE Act” that cracks down on Critical Race Theory teachings in Florida schools and workplaces. It bans educators and workplace employers from teaching Floridians that their “moral character” is determined by race, sex, or national origin.

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