STATEMENT: PDE Action Supports the Combatting the Lies of Authoritarians in School Systems (CLASS) Act

December 12, 2023

The Chinese Communist Party should have no role in the education of American students. Unfortunately, PDE Action’s partner organization, Parents Defending Education, recently discovered millions of funds flowing from the Chinese Communist Party through the “Confucius Classroom” program. At least 143 schools have collaborated with the Chinese government, and many of these collaborations are at schools located near American military bases.

This discovery reveals a significant vulnerability in America’s K-12 schools, regarding both the interests of the students within the schools and our national security. Parents have the right to know if their children’s schools are collaborating with a foreign government, and especially if these collaborations put their child’s personal data or education in the hands of a foreign adversary. The federal government has a responsibility to protect the nation from our foreign adversaries, and has a duty to protect America’s K-12 students from any encroachments on their education from the Chinese Communist Party. The government has already recognized the threat of CCP influences in education by deeming Confucius Institutes a “foreign mission” in 2020; it is only fitting that we take CCP connections in our K-12 schools just as seriously.

The Combatting the Lies of Authoritarians in School Systems (CLASS) Act, introduced by Representatives David Joyce (R-OH), Elise Stefanik (R-NY), and Ed Case (D-HI), recognizes CCP influence in K-12 schools for the significant vulnerability that it is and takes action to protect America’s schools. The bill prohibits K-12 schools from receiving funds and entering contracts with the Chinese Communist Party or its affiliates, and requires all schools to report any foreign funding they receive to the Secretary of Education. The bill is an important step in increasing transparency and protecting students from the influence of adversarial foreign governments.

The text of the bill can be read here.

Download this statement here.