Why Has Communist China Pumped $17M Into Over 140 K-12 Districts in America?

If you’re thinking that donations from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) are being funnelled into the public school system of states controlled by the Democratic Party—well, think again.According to a report by “Parents Defending Education,” the CCP has struck a close partnership with 143 U.S. school districts in 34 states and Washington, D.C., to establish “Confucius Institutes” and “Confucius Classrooms.”The report reveals that over $17 million has been channeled into U.S. K-12 schools through Confucius Institutes from financial institutions linked to the CCP. At least seven contracts are currently active in Kentucky, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas and Washington.Firstly, Parents Defending Education describes itself on social media as a “national, grassroots nonprofit empowering parents to advocate for classrooms that educate—not indoctrinate,” and continues on its website as “working to reclaim our schools from activists imposing harmful agendas.”

Simply put, Confucius Institutes and Confucius Classrooms are reportedly “centers that teach Chinese language and culture.” Well, what else could they possibly be? In fact, three top U.S. science and technology high schools have ties with these CCP programs.The report further reveals that China has fostered working relationships with K-12 schools through grants and long-term agreements between U.S. and Chinese schools, including trips to China for educational purposes—since at least 2009.By all means, China’s one-party state and the central authority of government represented by the CCP will want to strike a “deal” with the United States to bolster its nation’s economy, and this involves familiarizing Americans with Chinese language and customs.According to a 2022 report prepared by the U.S. Congressional Research Service, although two-way foreign direct investment flows between the U.S. and China have slowed since 2016, commercial ties relating to technology licensing, venture capital, financial investments and research have expanded. As detailed in a previous article, U.S. companies have been attracted to significant tax reliefs under China’s State Council, and have backed the country’s growth in artificial intelligence and semiconductor technology, particularly over the last six years.Now it can been argued that increasing globalism gives rise to learning opportunities to improve commerce and trading relations, particularly among individuals from affluent families who are more likely than other social classes to travel overseas as part of their professional pursuits.But like mice persistently scurrying through the walls of our homes, communist ideas derived from Marxist theories have been penetrating key institutions of learning and influence in the United States—decade after decade.One of the most evident examples is the expectation among younger Americans for the federal government to “do more” than older generations in solving presented challenges of social, economic and environmental importance.Although trust in the federal government among both Republicans and Democrats is lower than in previous decades, 55 percent of adults under 30 say the government has a responsibility to provide Americans with a college education, as highlighted by a 2021 Pew Research survey report. In contrast, only 21 percent of Americans ages 65 and older say this is the federal government’s responsibility.

Among Republican adults, those under 35 believe an average of 3.7 of seven raised matters are responsibilities of the federal government, whereas those aged 65 and older view only 2.0 of those seven matters as the government’s responsibility.According to a 2020 Pew Research survey report, millennial and younger Republicans are at least 10 percentage points more likely than Baby Boomer and older Republicans to say the federal government is doing “too little” in addressing aspects of the environment, such as protecting water quality, animals and their habitats.It is almost paramount to remind each generation of youth why our Founding Fathers sought a limited government to protect our Natural Rights—the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. To steer clear of government expansion was expressed elegantly by Thomas Jefferson in his first inaugural address:

[A] wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government; and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicities.

If we allow or expand our dependency on the government, then we also allow or expand the control of the government in our lives. If the government should “do more” in helping to provide “an adequate standard of living,” then we are indeed giving that institution the power to take away that desired standard of living.

On the contrary, if we as responsible citizens, e.g., parents, educators and children of the elderly, take ownership of our health, prosperity and well-being, and in many cases of those within our direct family or even extended community, then we are not reliant upon any government “help” because the idea doesn’t even cross our mind.

The primary role of government is, and has always been, to ensure that our Natural Rights and Amendments are protected, enabling the law-abiding individual—you, me, our neighbor—to build success and wealth for ourselves, our loved ones and generations to come.

Entitled “Little Red Classrooms,” the report further states that the CCP has “ties to school districts near 20 U.S. military bases,” and that the investigation conducted by Parents Defending Education has “uncovered at least two connections between American schools and China schools tied to the Chinese military and energy operations.” For example, according to the report:

“Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Virginia partnered with Tsinghua University High School, helping the Chinese-based school to adopt rigorous science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programming. Tsinghua University High School is connected to Tsinghua University, a Chinese military school that is ‘supervised’ by the Chinese defense industry, according to the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.”

Indeed, the president of Parents Defending Education, Nicki Neily, tweeted that the “alarming evidence uncovered by our investigation should concern parents, educators, and policymakers alike.

”Well, it will most certainly concern Americans who are well-informed about the political and economic philosophy of communism, and its tendency towards top-down party control, centralized control of all appointments within party and state—and authoritarianism. 

That the very essence of communism grounded in the theory and method of Marxism is at odds with our Founding Fathers’ desire for a limited government, which is dependent upon a system of checks and balances, as inspired by the charter of English liberties Magna Carta and the writings of the Enlightenment philosopher John Locke, all of which had a monumental impact on the formation of the U.S. Constitution.

Yet many Americans—and progressively every new generation of youth—do not seem to grasp that fundamental concept, wherein the political and cultural roots of a relatively young nation are being continuously disturbed, and torn off to be replaced with an expansive government increasingly partnered with private industry to control the life, liberty and “adequate standard of living” of the citizens it is supposed to serve.

Suppose the Grand Old Party (GOP) of Republicans weren’t seen interrogating why any public school in the United States would have K-12 educational programs affiliated with the CCP, especially near U.S. military bases. Many Americans might not even know, or sadly care, but “Little Red Classrooms” has been shared with state and federal lawmakers in the hopes that it will demand answers—and trigger action.

Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana is now calling on the Department of Education (DOE) to investigate how much school funding is from “hostile adversaries,” demanding that the DOE “institute departmental solutions to halt foreign influence, oversight, or intellectual property theft in our K-12 schools.

”In a letter addressed to Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, Banks argues that the U.S. must counter the threats posed by China and other adversarial nations by “blocking their ability to propagandize in America’s K-12 schools.”

The congressman notes that the Department of State designated Confucius Institutes a “foreign mission” under the Trump administration, requiring that U.S. universities disclose their connection to Confucius Institutes, which helped to shut down several of these programs due to the perceived risk of security threats.

Furthermore, Sen. Roger Marshall from Kansas also sounded the alarm, and has already introduced a bill that would prohibit federal government agencies from funding research in China or “any entity” owned by China.

Marshall reportedly told a U.K.-based mainstream media outlet that the Biden administration is past time to “wake up and realize what we are up against,” including “buying our farmland to setting up CCP police stations here on U.S. soil, stealing our intellectual property, spying on our military bases, and now buying their way into our children’s K-12 schools.”(Who knew—here’s a radical idea—perhaps the current administration occupied by President Joe Biden secretly supports Chinesemeddling and influence here on U.S. soil?)Actually, the 2021 National Defense Authorization Actrestricts the Department of Defense from funding institutions of higher education that host a Confucius Institute after October 1, 2023. Over 100 U.S. universities have reportedly shut down their Confucius Institutes thus far, according to the National Association of Scholars (NAS).For example, a Confucius Institute at Alfred University in New York was shut down in June after facing scrutiny from Rep. Mike Gallagher, chairman of the Select Committee on the Strategic Competition between the United States and the CCP.

Considering that the university had been awarded a five-year $13.5 million federal contract in 2022 to support a project with the U.S. Army in hypersonic weapons research, Gallagher had expressed concerns about tax-payer funds channelled to an institution affiliated with the CCP.

Yet the Confucius Institute is only “one tool in the CCP’s toolbox” as Gallagher clearly articulated in a statement. Despite many of these institutes closing down in the past few years, the CCP has arguably moved operations to capture younger minds in U.S. K-12 schools.In 2022, The Heritage Foundation in collaboration with NAS hosted an event entitled, “After Confucius Institutes: China’s Enduring Influence on American Higher Education.”In his opening remarks, Walter Lohman, director of the Asian Studies Center at The Heritage Foundation, explained that the Confucius Institutes differed from other cultural and language exchange programs established in the United States—that they were, instead, “propaganda outlets.” He went on to say that:

“With Confucius Institutes around the country being shut down … I think most of us thought the job was done. We could move on. But of course, the job can never be done, and stemming these sorts of influence operations will be an ongoing challenge, requiring eternal vigilance as long as the Chinese Communist Party is in power.”

The United States of America must always be vigilant against ideas that disturb the founding pillars of this Great Republic as a New World Nation. Ironically, it is the very personal freedoms granted to the individual, and an openness among many Americans to explore new ideas, that enable many authoritarian concepts disguised as “fairness” and “equality” to penetrate young, unblemished minds—that, when implemented in practice, ultimately restrict or extinguish those personal freedoms granted in the first place.

Some would say America’s existence—an imperfect nation, but one that has inspired exceptionalism—is a miracle.

The idea of a written constitution that describes an independent judiciary and creates and limits government power is, most certainly, an American first.

Let’s keep that miracle alive.