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Tags: 1619 project | curriculum | schools | gop | senators

GOP Lawmakers Seek to Defund 1619 Project Schools

mitch mcconnell walks through hallway
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., walks to his office after speaking on the Senate floor at the U.S. Capitol on June 14, 2021. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 15 June 2021 11:23 AM

Republican lawmakers are picking back up on a past effort of Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., to defund schools and districts adopting the 1619 Project in their curriculum.

Cotton's Saving American History Act, first proposed last summer amid social unrest, would prohibit federal funds to K-12 or school districts to teach the 1619 Project and schools teaching the controversial curriculum will be ineligible for federal professional-development grants.

"Activists in schools want to teach our kids to hate America and hate each other using discredited, Critical Race Theory curricula like the 1619 Project," Cotton wrote in a statement. "Federal funds should not pay for activists to masquerade as teachers and indoctrinate our youth."

The 1619 Project is a "revisionist history project" of The New York Times widely criticized by historians, Cotton added.

Despite major criticism of the project, schools around the country have begun incorporating the 1619 Project into their curricula. So far, schools or school districts in Chicago, Newark, N.J., Buffalo, N.Y., and Washington, D.C. have all reportedly announced 1619 Project-related programs.

"High-quality civics education is vital to the health of our democracy," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., added in a statement, co-signing the bill with Cotton and five other staunch conservative senators. "Debunked activist propaganda that seeks to divide has no place in American classrooms and no right to taxpayer funding. I'm proud to join in sponsoring this legislation on behalf of our youngest citizens and generations yet to come."

Sens. John Boozman, R-Ark., Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., Thom Tillis, R-N.C., and Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., are also backing the bill, which is not expected to get any support from congressional Democrats.

"American schools should be a place for education — not indoctrination," Blackburn wrote in a statement. "The 1619 Project is based on false narrative and stack of lies about our country. This state sponsored anti-American propaganda must be kept out of the classroom. The Saving American History Act ensures that taxpayer funding will not subsidize the brainwashing of our nation's future."

A companion legislation in the House, which faces even longer odds against the Democrat majority, was introduced by Reps. Ken Buck, R-Colo., and Rick Allen, R-Ga.

"Critical Race Theory is dangerous, anti-American, and has no place in our nation's schools," Buck wrote in a statement. "School curriculum plays a critical role in a child's development and greatly influences the type of adult they will become.

"Children shouldn't be taught that they will be treated differently or will be racist because of their skin color."

Critical race theory is defined by the Encyclopedia Britannica as the concept in which race is a socially constructed category ingrained in American law intended to maintain social, economic, and political inequalities between whites and nonwhites. It holds that the U.S. society is inherently or systemically racist.

"The 1619 Project aims to indoctrinate our students into believing that America is an evil country, and there is no room for that in our classrooms," Rep. Allen added. "We must teach our young folks to learn from our nation's past in order to form a more perfect union. Teaching revisionist history and promoting divisive ideology will not move our nation forward. This legislation will ensure federal dollars are used to provide our children with historically accurate curriculum."

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Republican lawmakers are picking back up on a past effort of Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., to defund schools and districts adopting the 1619 Project in their curriculum. Cotton's Saving American History Act, first proposed last summer...
1619 project, curriculum, schools, gop, senators
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2021-23-15
Tuesday, 15 June 2021 11:23 AM
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