Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Iowa Republicans Advance Bill to Prevent Schools From Teaching 1619 Project

'Fact: George Washington was a founding father. Fact: George Washington was a slave owner. That’s the complexity of America...'

Iowa Republicans advanced legislation this week that would cut funding from public schools that include the New York Times’s 1619 Project in their history curriculum.

The bill advanced from a three-member subcommittee on Tuesday after approval from state Reps. Henry Stone and Skyler Wheeler, according to the Gazette.

The state House’s Education Committee will now take up the bill for consideration.

If passed, the bill would make sure schools are punished for using “any United States history curriculum that in whole or in part is derived from a project by the New York Times, known as the ‘1619 Project,’ or any similarly developed curriculum.”

Schools that violate the rule would have their districts’ budgets “reduced by one one-hundred-eightieth for each day of the previous budget year for which the school district used school curriculum.”

The rule could also apply to community colleges and regents institutions, according to Wheeler.

Democrats in the state immediately came out again the bill.

“It’s interesting some of the facts and truths that for some reason can’t coexist,” Democratic state Rep. Ras Smith said in a statement.

“Fact: George Washington was a founding father. Fact: George Washington was a slave owner. That’s the complexity of America. How do we move further past these divisive times if we’re not even willing to acknowledge one truth, one fact?”

The bill says the 1619 Project, which claims the U.S. was created to preserve slavery, attempts to “deny or obfuscate the fundamental principles upon which the United States was founded.”

As such, the “general assembly has a strong interest in promoting an accurate account of this nation’s history through public schools and forming young people into knowledgeable and patriotic citizens,” it adds.

Wheeler accused the 1619 Project of seeking to “tear down America” during the subcommittee meeting on Tuesday, calling the series “leftist political propaganda masquerading as history.”

Iowa’s schools should instead read the 1776 Report, released by a commission created by former President Trump, which offers a historical and conservative response to the 1619 Project.

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