Schmitt, other state AGs target 1619 Project in federal grant programs


ST. LOUIS– Missouri Attorney General and counterparts in 19 other states have written a letter to the United States Department of Education, asking the federal government to re-evaluate a proposal to add priorities for grant funding to encourage “Racially, Ethnically, Culturally, and Linguistically Diverse Perspectives into Teaching and Learning,” along with “Promoting Information Literacy Skills.”

At issue, the Attorneys General believe, is the endorsement outlined in the proposal for the 1619 Project, a New York Times reporting project turned into a school curriculum that places a greater emphasis on slavery’s impact on the birth of the US. The first slaves arrived in Virginia in 1619.

“Though the Department does not overtly refer to CRT (Critical Race Theory) in its priorities, it is prioritizing teaching this highly controversial ideology through the vehicle of this grant program. This is hardly what Congress intended when it authorized this program. CRT focuses how our current government mechanisms are irretrievably flawed. Its theorists posit that our Nation’s values, ideals, foundations and institutions – the things Congress intended to promote – instead produce ‘inequity’ demanding actions to modify this result. This appears to be a view shared by Professor Ibram X. Kendi and advanced through the 1619 Project. It is fair to assume this view would be advanced by a curriculum built from its project.”

Letter to U.S. Department of education from 20 state attorneys general

“Civics education is not about erasing our past, but instead informing our future. The Biden Administration should reject the imposition of critical race theory on the curriculum taught in Missouri and America’s schools,” Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt said in a separate letter.

Public comments on the priority changes were due by Wednesday May 19. The Department of Education said it had not received the letters yet and would respond directly to the state authors.

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