Multiple education watchdog groups have filed lawsuits against the Biden Administration’s Department of Education (DOE) after the department hired a group of “partisan” activists to serve on a new council focusing on parental concerns about education.
As reported by the Daily Caller, the groups suing the administration include America First Legal, Parents Defending Education, and Fight for Schools and Families. The lawsuit alleges that the DOE is staffing the National Parents and Families Engagement Council, which is in charge of addressing the concerns of parents and schools across the country regarding education, with overwhelmingly left-wing individuals and allies of the Biden Administration.
The groups claim that placing such politically biased appointees on the council violates the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), which orders such groups to be bipartisan. As such, the lawsuit seeks to prevent the council from becoming operational until and unless it complies with FACA. Maintaining such a biased collection of appointees, the lawsuit claims, will only increase “politicization in K-12 education.”
“It’s important that if we have councils, that their views be independent and not be rubber-stamped and influenced inappropriately by inventive actors. We don’t think that the council is free from inappropriate influence from the Biden administration,” said Gene Hamilton, Vice President and General Counsel of America First Legal.
“Our concerns are not viewed or not being aired whatsoever,” added Nicole Neily, president of Parents Defending Education. “The federal government will make really one-sided decisions because they will not have heard from the full breadth of parental experience.”
Among the members of the council that are viewed as the most problematic are the National Parents Union, a left-wing organization which says schools must “eradicate generational institutions of oppression.” Keri Rodrigues, the president of the National Parents Union, openly defended a now-infamous letter by the National School Board Association to the Biden Administration, demanding that the White House treat parents who protest at school board meetings as “domestic terrorists.” Rodrigues even took to Twitter to say that such parents should be arrested by the Department of Justice, using vulgarity as she falsely claimed that such protesters were threatening to “kill school board members.”
Also on the council is the League of United Latin American Citizens, which aims to promote “educational attainment and political influence” of Hispanic Americans, as well as the National Action Network, a group which “promotes a modern civil rights agenda.”
The DOE’s resource page says that the council will help “facilitate strong and effective relationships between schools and parents, families and caregivers, helping their voices play a critical role in how the nation’s children are recovering from the pandemic.”