MAY 20, 2021

Attorney General Alan Wilson: Biden administration shouldn’t impose critical race theory into American history and civics curriculum

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) - May 20, 2021 - Attorney General Alan Wilson is joining a multistate coalition of 20 attorneys general in urging the Biden administration to reconsider educational proposals aimed at imposing the teaching of critical race theory (CRT), the 1619 Project, and other similar curriculum into America’s classrooms. Such goals are woven into a proposed new rule by the U.S. Department of Education establishing priorities for grants in American History and Civics Education programs.

“We don’t want more federal control over South Carolina schools, especially if that includes distorting our children’s understanding of our nation’s history and its government,” Attorney General Wilson said. “Our schools should be locally controlled first, last and always.”

The multistate coalition opposing federal efforts to bring such teachings into U.S. classrooms is led by Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita.

“This proposed rule aims to co-opt America’s traditional U.S. history and civics curriculum by imposing the deeply flawed and radical teachings of critical race theory into the classroom,” Attorney General Rokita said. “I’m thankful for the leadership of my colleagues in joining us to call on the Biden administration to reverse course on this reckless federal imposition into our schools.”

In a letter to U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, state attorneys general urge the Department to review the directives for teaching “traditional American history” as prescribed in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015.

“Congress made clear that the purpose of the (ESSA) 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 ESSA was described by the Wall Street Journal as the “largest devolution of federal control to the states in a quarter century.” The legislation gave authority back to parents, teachers, and local communities in deciding education policy.

“When I co-authored ESSA in Congress, the intent was to get away from Washington-driven one-size-fits-all education policies and teach traditional American history and civics,” Attorney General Rokita said. “We don’t need a new liberal indoctrination project that endorses factually deficient instruction and racial division.”

Indiana’s letter is joined by the attorneys general of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia.

You can read the letter here.

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