Bucks Co. voters reject controversial conservative school reforms that drew national interest

Tuesday's elections saw Democratic candidates sweep a school board where the curriculum was retooled to be more in-line with educational with tenets espoused by far-right extremist groups

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Democrats performed well in Philadelphia on Tuesday, taking the mayor's seat and key seats on City Council.

But, the city wasn't the only place that saw voters push back on conservative candidates.

A Democrat took the state's open Supreme Court seat as Dan McCaffery, who had positioned himself as a defender of abortion rights, defeated Republican Carolyn Carluccio who was endorsed by anti-abortion groups.

In Bucks County -- often considered "purple" for it's predilection to swing to both sides of the aisle -- voters took a stand against conservative officials in districts that had seen overhauls, Pennridge and Central Bucks.

In Pennridge, the first district in the country to adopt a curriculum created by the conservative Vermilion Education -- which has ties to far-right ideology stemming from Jordan Adams, the company's CEO -- Democratic candidates took all five open board seats, according to the county's unofficial election results.

In August, the school board approved a curriculum plan created by Adams's company.

Adams is a graduate and former employee of Hillsdale College, a conservative, Christian school in Michigan that created a controversial 1776 curriculum plan that has been accused of "whitewashing" American history. 

Adams has claimed Vermilion Education has no ties to Hillsdale College.

At vitriolic meetings held this summer, parents debated the controversial lesson plan -- which would remove books from the current curriculum, edit texts to avoid disruptive behavior from students, focus study on American history and suggest first graders learn more about the "ancient Near East."

Opponents of the plan expressed concerns with Vermilion Education, noting that the company only existed for about six months before contracting with the school and had already failed an attempt to retool a school curriculum in Florida.

Now that all five open seats were won by Democrats -- who ran as the Pennridge Community Alliance -- it remains to be seen what might happen with the recently approved conservative lesson plan.

The school board for the Central Bucks School District also saw a Democratic sweep as all five open seats went to progressive candidates, according to the county's unofficial results.

In recent months, this district has implemented conservative policies that had seen complaints from the American Civil Liberties Union claiming the district discriminated against LGBTQ+ students and it took the controversial step to ban anything advocating for political beliefs and social causes.

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