Government Watch / Politics

Democrats Want $6 Billion to Fund a new Common Core for Radical Civics Education

AMAC Exclusive – By Katie Sullivan

Education Secretary Miguel Cardona.

In recent weeks, conservatives have raised the alarm over the so-called “Civics Secures Democracy Act” (CSDA), a $6.3 billion bill ostensibly aimed at improving K-12 history and civics education. But a number of high-profile voices, including Donald Trump, Laura Ingraham, Newt Gingrich, and Ron DeSantis have warned that the bill would actually pave the way for left-wing groups to receive billions of taxpayer dollars to push Critical Race Theory, gender ideology, and a host of other anti-American concepts in the classroom. The key to understanding the intense controversy over the bill is to examine its grant structure, which bears striking similarity to other allegedly nonpartisan programs that resulted in the public funding of far-left political priorities and creates a number of concerning loopholes the Biden administration and left-wing education groups can use to advance their agenda.

Put simply, the CSDA would create a pool of grant money to be distributed to schools and other education groups with the stated purpose of bettering student understanding of history and civics. The problems arise when it comes to how the grant money will be allocated – namely, by the Biden Department of Education (DOE). Once Congress allocates the funding, politically appointed bureaucrats at DOE will decide who receives that funding.

Proponents of the legislation – including Republican Senators John Cornyn (TX), Bill Cassidy (LA), and Jim Inhofe (OK) – argue that the bill contains “protections” to prevent funding from being used to politicize education or create a de facto national curriculum on radical left-wing terms. But a closer look at the language of the bill leaves ample reason to question that assessment. While Republicans can include statements that funding should not go toward certain types of projects (like pushing CRT or “equity” programming), they ultimately have no power to limit who the Biden administration chooses to receive the grant money.

Once the money is appropriated by Congress, the Biden administration and outside groups have several tools at their disposal to funnel the grant money to fund their political agenda.

With all grant programs, federal agencies publish lists of “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQs) that provide information to grant applicants about what types of proposals will be accepted. FAQs are not “facts” and are not binding. Thus, they are a great way for the administration to telegraph to outside groups about what type of proposed projects will receive federal dollars – in this case, to make clear that only grants promoting the left-wing version of history and civics will be accepted.

The current version of the CSDA also contains vague definitions for basic terms like “civics” and “underserved groups” to provide the Biden administration wiggle room to implement their preferred programming. As Stanley Kurtz has outlined for National Review, the bill’s focus on “traditionally underserved students” is enough for the Biden administration to justify radically altering civics curriculum for everyone under the guise of “serving” these students.

The Department of Education also has the power to set its own “funding priorities,” further empowering them to use congressionally allocated dollars to advance their partisan agenda. For example, last year, Biden Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona published a set of priorities that held up the 1619 Project and CRT scholars like Ibram X. Kendi as positive examples of “culturally sensitive” teaching. These Priorities sent a message to every school in America that if they want federal grant money, they must hew their curriculum to align with the false version of history promoted by Kendi and other left-wing activists.

38 Republican Senators – including the three Republican sponsors of the CSDA – blasted the Priorities in a letter, specifically citing “divisive, radical and historically-dubious buzzwords and propaganda.” Ultimately, DOE revised the guidance to remove the specific offending language, but had they not, Congress would have had few, if any options to force the reversal.

Moreover, should the CSDA pass, members of the public won’t even have the chance to offer input on how the grants should be awarded. While priorities for any given discretionary program are typically open for comment by the public, for first-time grant programs, such as the CSDA, no public comment regarding funding priorities will be considered.

Even under Republican control, the left has shown that they understand how to work the grant system to fund their political agenda with taxpayer dollars. In 2019, DOE and the National Endowment for the Humanities awarded a grant of $650,000 to sponsor the “Educating for American Democracy” (EAD) coalition. More than 300 educators gathered for three years and produced a 40-page “Roadmap” calling for a “redefining” of civics education. While that effort was also supposedly “nonpartisan,” more than 96% of the educators on the coalition were leftists, and the Roadmap they produced took an axe to the legacy of the founding, replacing it with woke identity politics and charges of “systemic racism.” Writing for American Greatness, John Fonte detailed how the Roadmap embraces “a neo-Marxist narrative of “systems of oppression,” and is “a left-wing product in tune with the latest theories of the wokerati,” while Mark Bauerline wrote for City Journal that EAD’s attempt to “’renew’ civic education and ‘reinvent’ U.S. democracy smuggle[s] in a rejection of the American Founding.”

Should the CSDA pass, groups like EAD and iCivics, one of the groups most actively involved in leading the production of EAD’s “Roadmap” and a key national player in pushing CRT in classrooms, would likely stand to receive a massive financial windfall. As with most pools of grant money, some is set aside for nonprofits to “train” grant recipients in whatever way the government entity providing the funds sees fit. In this case, the Biden DOE would be able to work directly with the EAD coalition to ensure that their decidedly left-wing interpretation of American history and civics makes its way into every classroom.

When it comes to the Civics Secures Democracy Act, the left appears hopeful that most Americans – and even most Republican legislators – won’t connect the dots and realize the corrupt game they are playing to radicalize American history and civics education. But as the evidence continues to pile up, and as backlash continues to grow against those few Republicans backing the bill, the left may soon find that a license to tear up and rewrite American history and civics is one prize they just can’t have.

Katharine “Katie” Sullivan was as an Acting Assistant Attorney General and a senior advisor to the White House Domestic Policy Council under President Trump. She previously served 11 years as a state trial court judge in Colorado.

We hope you've enjoyed this article. While you're here, we have a small favor to ask...

Support AMAC Action. Our 501 (C)(4) advances initiatives on Capitol Hill, in the state legislatures, and at the local level to protect American values, free speech, the exercise of religion, equality of opportunity, sanctity of life, and the rule of law.

Donate Now

If You Enjoy Articles Like This - Subscribe to the AMAC Daily Newsletter
and Download the AMAC News App

Sign Up Today Download

If You Enjoy Articles Like This - Subscribe to the AMAC Daily Newsletter!

Notify of
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
5 months ago

First question: Why do we even have a Federal Department of Education? Where in the US Constitution does this department gain its authority? On the DOE website under laws it even acknowledges: “Please note that in the U.S., the federal role in education is limited. Because of the Tenth Amendment, most education policy is decided at the state and local levels.”
Why if the DOE says Education is a States Rights responsibility do we have a DOE? Why does a limited department have over 4,400 employees and a $68 Billion budget? Let’s face it… this CSDA money will be sucked into the swamp and it will be impossible to manage or have any accountability, It will be used to effect policy in our classrooms.
We need to take back control from a Federal government that is out of touch and no longer controllable… even by our elected representatives. Congress will never fix these issues – they created them! 
Article V empowers the States to put forward Amendments! This starts with us the people! We are thousands of volunteers and growing.
Become informed and engaged: SIGN THE PETITION and/or volunteer to help the movement.   

5 months ago

Get the Feds out of education. The current administration is doing all it can to destroy this country. The Demoncrats are the real clear and present danger to this country.

6 months ago

BS, every dollar allocated by Democrats never gets where it’s going or does go for anti American things of value. And Rino’s are joining them? These bastards will pay!

6 months ago

Why are you guys not bringing the articles of impeachment to impeach Biden
Why are you allowing the Biden administration getting away with murdered

Bill C
6 months ago

What an opportunity for Demonrats to use more of the taxpayer’s money for Progressive, Socialist indoctrination with a nice foundation of revisionist history to build on! What could possibly go wrong?

6 months ago

These Nazis just won’t give up.

6 months ago

If I had kids in public school I would of taken them out of school long ago and home schooled them or put them in Christian school ! I worked and did just that with my kids , it was hard on my husband and I financially but well worth it !

Mart Louise Miner
6 months ago

I just got my proposed property tax statement … up by $200! Whenever I read of frivolous expenditures when so many are suffering financially right now, the midterms can’t come fast enough.

6 months ago

Democrats would recognize Democracy if we stuffed them with it. Their vision of democracy looks like socialism ,

6 months ago

And I’ll guess any Republican that doesn’t vote for this silly wasteful bill will automatically be branded as a “racist”, the card the democrats love to play anytime they don’t get their way.

Let’s hope more Americans are mindful of these liberal games in November. Bring on the massive red wave!

6 months ago

I don’t trust anything that democrats touch. God help us all!!!

Jocie Taylor
6 months ago

This is where we need to put Republicans in the Senate and the house and we can make Democrats laying ducks for their crazy spending on stupid stuff like this

6 months ago

And several republicans actually believe there are safeguards? Why believe these cunning vermin when all dems do is cheat and distort to fool republicans into believing their mock sincerity. Any kid in a big city schoolyard would be called out for believing the bullies reformed themselves. How simpleminded some of us are.

6 months ago

Ordinarily I would think this article is just “pulling my leg.” But it is becoming more and more obvious that the hidden goal of the DemocRat Party is to turn the Nation’s governance system to Communism … with the DemocRat Party dictating the rules of living and the rights of the people. It should be obvious to most reasonable informed and intelligent citizen that the near-term goal of the DemocRat Party is to go to a system of governance that they can RULE, not just GOVERN.

6 months ago

The DemocRats want 6 million dollars to serve several PARTISAN purposes. One, to boost their personal wealth by artful skimming; Two, to use to boost the DemocRat Party’s image by sweeting the pot of key news journalists; (3) Three, to provide kickback coverage from supporters; (4) Four, to pay for those people who are adept at crating false info about Republican opponents; (5) etc. Like the old Pirate and US ally against the Brits, Jean Lafitte said in the War of 1812 when asked what he thought of the new form of US governance, he replied, “It will work well until the Politicians learn how to bribe the people with their own money”; and the DemocRats have learned that very well. Giving the DemocRats government funds for any project they wish to create is politically like putting a sharp knife at the throat of Democracy.

Bill T
6 months ago

They’ve already distorted JAMES MADISON and in Virginia a leftist liberal funded tens of millions of dollars to portray him as nothing more than a racist white hater who did nothing more than write some sort of constitution to advance only him and his white partners, there now doing this with several other constitutional founders of our country, all lies and hypocritical theory made up by these woke and extremely dangerous socialist liberals. Why do you think there destroying our founders statue’s, tearing down our history in minutes and then pushing the vile and extremely divisive version of what. there views and opinions are regarding our free republic and our constitutional rights as American citizens. They despise our country, most of our hard working citizens, want to destroy our souls and get GOD and family values out of our and more important our children and future families lives. This is communist propaganda that’s completely brainwashing our young college and even elementary school students. These Marxist school teachers are more focused on setting in a pattern of untruths and totally fabricated lies about our history than actually teaching them how to function in a normal society. This is what the current president and administration including the teachers union believe are more important right now than actually trying to keep our country together .

Jordana Hergott
6 months ago

I can not believe this is even a thought with millions of people, American citizens, facing homelessness. The rents in Florida, specifically palm beach, are being raised 69% and the main concern is what are these homeless children going to learn? A 2 bedroom apartment is going from 1650 to 2,800!! Their solution is to apply for social services, they’ll pay. I have a master’s degree and work 2 jobs. I will be homeless before quitting my jobs to get state aid! God help our country.

Kyle Buy you some guns,and learn how to shoot
6 months ago

Hope I can get a million grant. I need to find ou why my parrot keeps crappin in the bottem of his cage. Kyle L.

Michael Lewis
6 months ago

Let’s secure Democracy by doing away with grants. By definition they grants are money not needed to support existing government budgets. This should be the guiding principle for a nation 30 trillion dollars in debt!

Michael J
6 months ago

6 billion for more indoctrination? Isn’t society dumbed down enough? Let’s not repeat these tried and failed programs. Then maybe the outcome will be different this time.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x