A conservative watchdog group that promotes greater transparency and parental authority in education is now claiming that there are connections between the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and indoctrination efforts in public schools.
According to Fox News, the report by Parents Defending Education (PDE), titled “Little Red Classrooms,” was released on Wednesday and sent to 34 governors and other lawmakers around the country. The report claims that CCP-linked financial entities are directly funding public K-12 schools in the United States, for the purpose of spreading Chinese propaganda disguised as lessons about Chinese culture.
“The alarming evidence uncovered by our investigation should concern parents, educators, and policymakers alike,” said PDE president Nicole Neilly. “Families deserve to know who is influencing the American education system so that they can make informed choices about what their children are learning behind closed doors.”
“The Trump administration took steps to rein in Confucius Institutes at colleges and universities. It is frightening, however, that no such transparency mandate exists at the K-12 level,” Neily added. “Accordingly, it is imperative that elected officials at both the federal and state levels take immediate action to gauge the extent of these programs in order to ensure that American schoolchildren receive a high-quality education free from undue foreign interference.”
The report claims that, by analyzing “records requests and publicly available information, it was discovered that 143 school districts across the United States have engaged in contracts to establish Confucius Institutes and Classrooms;” this effort included three of the highest-ranked science and technology high schools in the country, as well as several schools located near at least 20 U.S. military bases.
“The Chinese government has long touted their Confucius programming as a way to advance their strategic goals around the world,” said Michele Exner, a senior adviser for PDE, in a letter to Congresswoman Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.). “In 2009, former Chinese Communist Party Senior Chairman Li Changchun admitted that Confucius Institutes were an ‘important part of China’s overseas propaganda set-up’ and in 2017 Chinese government officials lauded the programs as a way to push China’s Belt and Road initiative.”
“We cannot allow this to happen,” Exner continued. “We urge the committee to take immediate action to investigate, expose, and hold hearings on the Chinese government’s involvement in America’s schools. PDE looks forward to working with you in protecting our students from the threats of the CCP.”
PDE’s claims appear to corroborate a broader trend by Communist China to infiltrate the United States through less conventional means by subverting the culture itself. Public education has become a top political issue in recent years, with parents’ rights groups expressing concerns over far-left curriculum being taught to children, including support for homosexuality and critical race theory. China has also turned to such methods as mass purchases of American land in close proximity to military bases and other strategic assets.