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AG Derek Schmidt to Biden Administration: Don't push critical race theory on America's schools

Release Date: May 20, 2021

TOPEKA – (May 20, 2021) – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt today objected to an attempt by the Biden Administration to subsidize the teaching of critical race theory in the nation’s classrooms.

Schmidt joined 19 other attorneys general in a letter to U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona challenging his department's proposed funding priorities for grants supporting American history and civics programs.

"The proposed priorities are a thinly veiled attempt at bringing into our states’ classrooms the deeply flawed and controversial teachings of Critical Race Theory and the 1619 Project," the attorneys general wrote, which impedes "a proper and accurate understanding of our nation’s history and governmental institutions and, therefore, is fundamentally at odds with federal and state law."

Noting that federal law provides for the teaching of "traditional American history," the attorneys general wrote that the department should not adopt the proposed grant priorities or, at a minimum, should make clear that taxpayer-funded grants may not pay for projects that characterize the United States as irredeemably racist or founded on principles of racism.

“Congress made clear that the purpose of the [statutorily authorized] programs is to advance a traditional understanding of American history, civics, and government,” the letter states. “The proposed priorities would do little to advance that goal.”

The letter asks the department to withdraw its new priorities for funding civics and American history projects.

“The relevant programs were included to promote the learning and teaching of civics for the benefit of America’s students," the attorneys general wrote. "These priorities do precisely the opposite."

A copy of the letter sent to the U.S. Department of Education can be found at https://bit.ly/3uYCAyi.

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