A Florida lawmaker has expressed opposition to the hiring of a company to produce a new state test based on Common Core Standards.
In March, The Florida Deportment of Education hired the American Institute of Research, or AIR, to produce a new test based on Common Core Standards at a cost of $220 million.
Rep. Charles Van Zant has spoken out against Common Core, and expressed opposition to the hiring of AIR.
According to the liberal blog Think Progress, days after the nonprofit research group was selected, Van Zant voiced a claim against AIR at an education conference in Orlando.
"Click the link to what they’re doing with youth, and you will see what their agenda really is," he told the audience. "They are promoting as hard as they can any youth that is interested in the LGBT agenda."
The video was originally posted on YouTube in April. In it, Van Zant references a page on the AIR website that serves as a guide for educators regarding gay and lesbian youth, called 2-S.
"These people, that will now receive $220 million from the state of Florida unless this is stopped, will promote double-mindedness in state education and attract every one of your children to become as homosexual as they possibly can. I’m sorry to report that to you," he said.
Van Zant confirmed Monday he spoke at a conference in Orlando earlier this year, but was not aware of the group's claims, and wanted to review them before commenting further. AIR and the author of the 2-S guide did not return calls for comment.
The group Equality Florida issued a statement that read in part,
"It is reprehensible whenever an elected official conjures up homophobic scare tactics for political gain. His assertion that an educational program seeks to 'make children gay' is simply absurd."