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Partnership Between Chinese Communist Party and U.S. Schools Exposed

Report Reveals Chinese Influence in American Public Education

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The extent of China’s financial support for American public schools has come to light, prompting concerns from Republicans. A recent report by Parents Defending Education has revealed a notable level of collaboration between the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and U.S. schools through initiatives like Confucius Classrooms.

This partnership has been observed in 143 school districts across 34 states and Washington, D.C. Currently, seven contracts remain active in Texas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Washington.

The report, titled ‘Little Red Classrooms,’ exposes the fact that financial institutions connected to the CCP have channeled $17 million into U.S. K-12 schools via Confucius Institutes and cultural/language programs.

Moreover, the report sheds light on the CCP’s influence reaching near 20 U.S. military bases and infiltrating three top science and technology high schools. China has established these connections through grants and sister school partnerships since 2009.

Notably, programming and funding arrangements have varied between different school districts, as outlined in the report.

President Nicki Neily of Parents Defending Education has described the findings as ‘alarming evidence’ that should raise concerns among parents, educators, and policymakers. The report has now been shared with state and federal lawmakers, hoping to prompt necessary action.

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Representative Jim Banks, a member of the House Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party, strongly urges the Education Department to take immediate action.

In a letter addressed to Secretary Miguel Cardona on Wednesday, Banks demands the termination of these ‘disturbing’ partnerships with urgency. Banks acknowledges the previous efforts made under the Trump administration when Confucius Institutes were designated as a ‘foreign mission.’

This designation was instrumental in the closure of several ‘dangerous programs.’ Banks emphasizes the need for immediate attention from the Biden administration.

Expressing concern regarding the lack of complete understanding of Communist China’s interference, Representative Mike Waltz from Florida states that the report is ‘alarming.’ In response, he is encouraging state governments to crack down on the targeting of children and emphasizes the importance of federal assistance in this matter.

Waltz has also raised concerns about Chinese-owned schools in the U.S. with Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) programs and has requested the Pentagon to investigate these schools due to potential national security threats.

Senator Roger Marshall shares his alarm at the findings of the Parents Defending Education report, particularly due to the CCP’s focus on schools near military bases. To address this concern, he introduced a bill that would prohibit federal agencies from funding research in China or any entity owned by China.

As a result of provisions in the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), over 100 U.S. universities have already closed their Confucius Institutes. By October 1, 2023, the Pentagon is prohibited from providing funds to ‘institution[s] of higher education that hosts a Confucius Institute.’

Recently, House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party Chairman Mike Gallagher successfully advocated for the closure of Alfred University’s Confucius Institute in New York, which had received a significant research grant from the Pentagon.

Additional universities that currently host Confucius Institutes and have received Department of Defense (DOD) grants include the University of Toledo, University of Utah, St. Cloud State University, and Wesleyan College. Mike Gallagher emphasizes that the CCP must not be allowed to influence the American education system, stating that ‘America’s children deserve better.’

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul criticizes the lack of measures protecting children from CCP influence. He acknowledges the importance of learning languages and cultures critical to national security, such as Chinese, but emphasizes the need to prevent Communist propaganda and influence in educational settings.

In 2019, the FBI identified that foreign state adversaries aim to obtain U.S. academic research and information for their own scientific, economic, and military development goals.

FBI Director Chris Wray highlighted this threat during a 2020 speech, pointing out that China pays scientists at U.S. universities to secretly transfer knowledge and innovation back to China, including valuable research funded by the U.S. government.

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