Senate Republicans Notch Victory In Fight Against Radical Critical Race Theory

The Senate Adopted A Republican Amendment To Prohibit Federal Funding From Going Towards Promoting Radical Critical Race Theory Ideologies In Schools

The Senate adopted Sen. Tom Cotton’s (R-AR) amendment to prohibit federal funds from being used to promote Critical Race Theory or to compel students or teachers to affirm Critical Race Theory in prekindergarten, elementary, and secondary schools. (S.Amdt.3680, S.Con.Res.14, Roll Call Vote #342: Amendment Agreed to 50-49: D 1-47; R 49-0; I 0-2; 8/11/2021)

SENATE REPUBLICAN LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “American students deserve a rock-solid civics education, grounded in facts. Not divisive propaganda that tells them they’re little more than a product of their racial background. That’s the basis of new legislation I was proud to help introduce this week: Schools that choose to trade in fact-based curricula for activist propaganda like the 1619 Project forfeit their right to receive federal education grant funding for those teachings.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 6/15/2021)

SEN. TOM COTTON (R-AR): “Our future depends on raising a generation of kids who love America and love each other as fellow citizens, no matter their race. But Critical Race Theory teaches that our country is irredeemably racist, that ‘equality’ is a sham, and that true justice requires treating everyone differently—based on the color of their skin. Our tax dollars should never support indoctrinating the youngest Americans with such poison.” (Sen. Cotton, Press Release, 8/10/2021)


Polling Increasingly Shows Growing Opposition From Parents To School Boards Forcing Radical Ideas On Students, Including Critical Race Theory

“In Loudoun County, Va., where heated opposition to the district’s plans to implement new diversity initiatives has led to an attempted recall of board members, culminating in a viral school board meeting in June where two protesters were arrested, organizers have similarly noticed support coming from outside the Republican Party. A poll conducted by Public Opinion Strategies in early June for the anti-critical race theory advocacy group Fight for Schools found that 48 percent of independent voters and 59 percent of public school parents overall in Loudoun and neighboring Fairfax County viewed critical race theory negatively, while 31 percent and 39 percent of each group had positive views. Biden won Loudoun County by 62 percent to 37 percent over Trump, and Fairfax by 70-28.” (“‘People Are Scared’: Democrats Lose Ground On School Equity Plans,” Politico, 7/26/2021)

According to a May poll of active voters:

  • “74% [of respondents] said they were somewhat or strongly opposed to teaching students that white people are inherently privileged and black and other people of color are inherently oppressed. Similarly, only 6% of respondents favored schools assigning white students the status of ‘privileged’ and non-white students the status of ‘oppressed’ – versus 88% opposed, including 78% strongly opposed.”
  • “69% opposed schools teaching that America was founded on racism and is structurally racist.

‘Parents Who Are Showing Up To School Board Meetings And Have Helped Launch A Spate Of Recall Elections Say They Are Angry About A Host Of Issues … And [Say They Are] Are Being Ignored’

“Parents who are showing up to school board meetings and have helped launch a spate of recall elections say they are angry about a host of issues, including what they see as a myopic focus on diversity at school boards, ongoing frustration over a year of closed schools and school lesson plans that they say are becoming too progressive, too fast. While those complaints have often been branded in the media as ‘anti-critical race theory,’ the causes of the anger are varied, and are being ignored, parents say.” (“‘People Are Scared’: Democrats Lose Ground On School Equity Plans,” Politico, 7/26/2021)

“Elina Kaplan is the kind of suburban mom who made Joe Biden president. An immigrant who came to the United States from the Soviet Union, she is a registered Democrat from San Mateo County, Calif. And she’s alarmed over her state’s new model ethnic studies curriculum, which cites critical race theory as a ‘key theoretical framework and pedagogy.’ ‘I firmly believe that if the vast majority of Californians and Americans knew about this, and about the content of this type of curriculum, this would not be happening. We would not be having this conversation,’ Kaplan said.” (“‘People Are Scared’: Democrats Lose Ground On School Equity Plans,” Politico, 7/26/2021)

  • “Kaplan felt there were numerous issues with the model curriculum. Drafts, for example, included criticisms of capitalism, at one point referring to it as a ‘system of power’ and suggesting students study how capitalism has been used to oppress people. The first draft put little focus on anti-Semitism but included sample teachings about Palestine, upsetting Jewish leaders in the state.” (“‘People Are Scared’: Democrats Lose Ground On School Equity Plans,” Politico, 7/26/2021)
  • “Kaplan, who has launched an email list, set up meetings with state legislators and recruited people to meet with their school boards to discuss ethnic studies, is representative of Democrat-leaning or politically moderate suburbanites interviewed by POLITICO in six states, all but one of which were won by Biden. They are up in arms over their school systems’ new equity initiatives, which they argue are costly and divisive, encouraging students to group themselves by race and take pro-activist stances.” (“‘People Are Scared’: Democrats Lose Ground On School Equity Plans,” Politico, 7/26/2021)

“One parent in Novi, Mich., a diverse suburb outside Detroit with prized public schools, said she started reading up on critical race theory after her daughter, a recent high school graduate, started raising the idea of defunding police departments and arguing that rioters who looted stores during 2020’s Black Lives Matter protests were justified. The parent — who asked to not be named because of the heated politics in Novi — said she has in the past voted for Democrats, but she considers her daughter’s ideas ‘radical.’ She and other parents formed an anonymous group to question the school board. ‘Based on everything I have seen in the last year, starting with Covid, I cannot continue [voting for Democratic candidates] in good faith,’ she said.” (“‘People Are Scared’: Democrats Lose Ground On School Equity Plans,” Politico, 7/26/2021)


But Democrats Telling Themselves It’s ‘Another Right-Wing Conspiracy’ ‘Appear To Be Underestimating Parents’ Anger’ Which ‘Extend[s] To Many Moderate And Independent Voters’

“On the national level, Democrats have insisted that the brush fires over critical race theory … are largely the work of right-wing activists who willfully misrepresent what it means, and they blame Fox News for fanning parents’ anger…. But those Democrats appear to be underestimating parents’ anger in places where critical race theory is top of mind. Objections to new equity plans are not the sole province of conservatives but extend to many moderate and independent voters, according to POLITICO interviews with school board members, political operatives and activists in Democratic and left-leaning communities including the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C.; Palm Beach County, Fla.; New York’s Westchester County; Maricopa County covering Phoenix, Ariz.; and suburban Detroit.” (“‘People Are Scared’: Democrats Lose Ground On School Equity Plans,” Politico, 7/26/2021)


Republicans In Congress Oppose Funding For Schools That Choose To Teach ‘Debunked Activist Propaganda’ Like The New York Times’ 1619 Project

“House and Senate Republicans introduced bills on Monday that would bar federal funds from being used to teach The New York Times’ ‘1619 Project.’ … [T]he bills reflect mounting opposition to efforts to form school curriculums with the newspaper series, which reframed U.S. history with a focus on slavery and racism as the defining characteristic of the American experience…. The series … has been criticized for its historic inaccuracies and viewpoint that America is intrinsically racist. The ‘1619 Project’ claimed, among other things, that a motivation of some of the Founding Fathers to fight the American Revolution was to preserve slavery. The project also argued that the year of America’s beginning should not be considered 1776 but 1619 when the slave trade arrived in the colonies.” (“Republicans Introduce Bills To Strip Federal Funds From Schools That Teach The ‘1619 Project,’” The Washington Times, 6/14/2021)

LEADER McCONNELL: “High-quality civics education is vital to the health of our democracy. 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.” (Sen. Cotton, Press Release, 6/14/2021)

SEN. TOM COTTON (R-AR): “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. Federal funds should not pay for activists to masquerade as teachers and indoctrinate our youth.” (Sen. Cotton, Press Release, 6/14/2021)

SEN. JOHN BOOZMAN (R-AR): “The heart of the 1619 Project’s central claim and key parts of its framework have been disputed by respected scholars and historians, and rightfully so. It has no business in our classrooms in Arkansas and across the country. This misguided and academically suspect curriculum represents the exact opposite of what we should be encouraging educators to instruct and promote – accurate and contextual understanding of our past along with the importance of civic engagement, cooperation and the significance of the shared values that set our country apart and above.” (Sen. Cotton, Press Release, 6/14/2021)

SEN. MARSHA BLACKBURN (R-TN): “American schools should be a place for education—not indoctrination. The 1619 Project is based on a false narrative … The Saving American History Act ensures that taxpayer funding will not subsidize the brainwashing of our nation’s future.” (Sen. Cotton, Press Release, 6/14/2021)

SEN. CYNTHIA LUMMIS (R-WY): “The 1619 Project and Critical Race Theory are efforts to rewrite the history of our country, ignoring the many things that have made America great. I’m proud to work with my colleague Tom Cotton to keep taxpayer dollars from funding this.” (Sen. Cotton, Press Release, 6/14/2021)

SEN. THOM TILLIS (R-NC): “I have significant concerns with the Department of Education’s recent effort to reorient the bipartisan American History and Civics Education programs away from their intended purposes towards a politicized and divisive agenda. Americans do not want their tax dollars going towards promoting radical ideologies meant to divide us instead of being used to promote the principles that unite our nation. Our students deserve a rigorous understanding of civics and American history, to understand both our successes and failures as a nation. I do not support diverting tax-payer resources towards promoting ideological and misleading depictions of our Nation’s history and I am proud to work on this important legislation with my colleagues to address this issue.” (Sen. Cotton, Press Release, 6/14/2021)

SEN. TOMMY TUBERVILLE (R-AL): “When done right, education is the key to freedom. By expediting the use of the 1619 Project, our schools are coming perilously close to cementing existing inequality, rather than giving kids the chance to escape it. The U.S. government should not spend a single taxpayer dollar to teach children to dislike their country. I’m proud to cosponsor this legislation so that our schools can encourage the open debate of ideas and teach important morals to our students.” (Sen. Cotton, Press Release, 6/14/2021)



Related Issues: Education