STATEMENT: PDE Action Supports Protecting Education from Malign Foreign Influence Act of 2023

December 8, 2023

American families deserve full transparency regarding foreign funding in their children’s schools. PDE Action’s partner organization, Parents Defending Education, recently published a report exposing millions of funds flowing from the Chinese Communist Party into America’s K-12 classrooms. Further, China has established “Confucius Classrooms” in 143 school districts across the country, including in three of the nation’s top science and technology high schools, and in school districts near 20 U.S. military bases.

The presence of a foreign adversary in our children’s classrooms is a significant vulnerability to our national security and to the interests of our nation’s school-aged children. Parents deserve to know if adversarial governments have access to and influence over their children’s education and data. The federal government has a responsibility to defend our schools from security concerns from foreign governments. In 2020, Confucius Institutes were deemed a “foreign mission” by the U.S. State Department due to security concerns with the CCP; it is time that we treat CCP connections in our K-12 schools with concern as well.

The Protecting Education from Malign Foreign Influence Act spearheaded by Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and cosponsored by Senators Rick Scott (R-FL) and Tim Scott (R-SC) delivers urgent solutions that will increase transparency regarding foreign influence in schools. The legislation strengthens reporting requirements for funds linked to foreign governments, prevents K-12 schools from fostering ties with foreign adversaries, and restricts federal funding to colleges and universities that continue to receive funding from, or otherwise maintain relationships with, agents of adversarial foreign governments. This not only protects schoolchildren from the CCP-linked funding already discovered, but also from other adversaries of the United States should they attempt to influence America’s schools in the future.

Summary of the Protecting American Education from Malign Foreign Influence Act provided by the Senators’ office can be read here.

Download this statement here.