WASHINGTON DC – Today, Congressman Dave Joyce (R-OH), House Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY) and Congressman Ed Case (D-HI) introduced the Combating the Lies of Authoritarians in School Systems (CLASS) Act. This bipartisan legislation prohibits K-12 public schools from accepting funds or entering into contracts with the Chinese Government, the Chinese Communist Party, and individuals or entities with ties to either.
“As students across the country start the new school year, the Chinese Communist Party is hard at work attempting to influence their curriculum. China’s attempts to interfere in American classrooms represent a direct threat to the national security of our country,” said Congressman Joyce. “This bipartisan legislation is a crucial step in preventing China’s influence from spreading into the American education system. Thank you to Chairwoman Stefanik and Congressman Case for their support in protecting our young minds in Ohio and across the country.”
“American students are being force fed Chinese Communist Party propaganda as school systems nationwide accept significant funding from CCP linked financial institutions. In New York alone, China’s infiltration into New York schools totaled to a shocking $375,575 in CCP connecting funding. No price can be put on the minds of our next generation. As the new school year begins, Communist China cannot be allowed access to our classrooms and students,” said Congresswoman Elise Stefanik. “I am proud to help introduce this bipartisan legislation, The Combatting the Lies of Authoritarians in School Systems (CLASS) Act, with my colleagues Rep. Dave Joyce and Rep. Ed Case to block Communist China from having a seat in any American classroom.”
“The People’s Republic of China and the Chinese Communist Party have demonstrated repeatedly that there are no boundaries in the deliberate spread of propaganda and disinformation, including the classrooms of the world,” said Congressman Ed Case. “We can and should value real cultural exchange to foster mutual goodwill and understanding, but we must be eyes wide open to exploitation of our best intentions in our most valued institutions.”
A slew of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests have uncovered that more than 140 school districts around the United States have received money directly from the Chinese Government or through intermediaries connected to the ruling Chinese Communist Party. These funding arrangements are rarely disclosed to parents, and often are conditional upon school districts allowing the Chinese government to vet which teachers are going to teach in American schools and what information is conveyed to students. The CLASS Act bans school districts from accepting any funds from the People’s Republic of China or individuals and entities with ties to the government, and requires school districts to disclose any time they receive funding from other foreign governments.
Other cosponsors of this legislation include Mario Diaz-Balart, Kelly Armstrong, Ashley Hinson, Troy Balderson, Anthony D’Esposito, Carlos Gimenez, Lisa McClain, Brandon Williams, Mike Carey, and Jennifer Gonzalez-Colon.
Read the full text of the bill here.