Senators introduce bill to block taxpayer dollars for CRT at Department of Education

U.S. Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., reintroduced the Protect Equality and Civics Education (PEACE) Act, a bill that would block tax dollars from promoting Critical Race Theory within the Department of Education’s American history guidelines.

The legislation comes after a litany of examples have become public showing how federal tax dollars have been used to promulgate CRT, a philosophy that teaches the U.S. is a fundamentally racist nation and always has been.

States like Florida are also entangled in a battle over how U.S. history is taught.

“Critical Race Theory is an outrageous, Marxist teaching that has no place in our schools,” Rubio said. “I will not allow American history to be rewritten by the radical left. It is not only inaccurate but also dangerous. We need to protect our students from propaganda that seeks to divide and indoctrinate young children into believing they are inherently racist solely based on the color of their skin.”

The DOE’s Office of Elementary and Secondary Education has increasingly embraced more progressive ideas on how race and American history is taught.

Rubio and Kramer’s bill specifically would ban the DOE’s American History and Civics Education program from promoting “divisive concepts” as defined by former President Donald Trump’s “Executive Order on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping.” President Joe Biden overturned that order, which applied to federal agencies, nonprofits or groups with federal contracts, after taking office. 

From that executive order:

“Divisive concepts” means the concepts that (1) one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex; (2) the United States is fundamentally racist or sexist; (3) an individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously; (4) an individual should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment solely or partly because of his or her race or sex; (5) members of one race or sex cannot and should not attempt to treat others without respect to race or sex; (6) an individual’s moral character is necessarily determined by his or her race or sex; (7) an individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex; (8) any individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress on account of his or her race or sex; or (9) meritocracy or traits such as a hard work ethic are racist or sexist, or were created by a particular race to oppress another race. The term “divisive concepts” also includes any other form of race or sex stereotyping or any other form of race or sex scapegoating.

The bill is one of several legislative efforts from Republicans to block federal funding for progressive projects like CRT and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., has introduced the Combating Racist Training in the Military Act as well as the Stop Critical Race Theory Act.

The Center Square previously reported on similar funding at the collegiate level. Federal grant documents show that the U.S. Department of Education awarded roughly $2.5 million in taxpayer dollars to a Florida-based education program that trains future teachers and other professionals in critical race theory.

Another similar program, “The Research Institute for Scholars of Equity,” received millions of dollars for “training” college students in critical race theory at several higher educational institutions.

Top Republicans in the U.S. House launched an investigation last year into reports that federal funding meant for COVID-related learning loss was spent to promote “equity warriors,” critical race theory teachings and more at local schools.

“Woke concepts like critical race theory only serve to spread division,” Cramer said. “We are all created equal in God’s image, and any implication otherwise is just plain wrong. Taxpayers shouldn’t be footing the bill for liberal academic agendas.”

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