published : 2023-08-22

New York Republicans Challenge Governor Hochul on Chinese Influence in State Schools

New York's House Republicans urge Governor Hochul to scrutinize and limit the influence of the Chinese Communist Party on the state's K-12 schools.

A detailed shot of a formal letter with a hinted New York State Seal on the heading, demonstrating the New York House Republicans' appeal to Governor Hochul. Taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV.

Members of Congress from New York, led by prominent Republicans such as Rep. Elise Stefanik and Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, are applying stringing pressure on the state's Democrat governor, Kathy Hochul. Their concerns stem from a startling report unveiled by Parents Defending Education (PDE) which highlights extensive Chinese influence, backed by substantial funding, in America’s K-12 classrooms.

The investigation uncovered that 12 school systems within New York, including the New York City Department of Education, received sizeable funding connected to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The report raised serious concerns over the implications of this foreign influence on American soil, given China's contentious relationship with the United States.

The 'Little Red Classrooms' report stated that several state-funded programs in American K-12 schools exposed students to Chinese propaganda, language, and culture classes. PDE's study also found that Chinese government-vetted programs infiltrated 34 states and Washington D.C., affecting approximately 170,000 students across 143 school districts.

In addressing this serious concern, the New York Republicans drafted a letter to Governor Hochul. Their message not only demanded clear answers on the CCP's influence over the 12 New York school systems but called for immediate action to restrict further foreign involvement in the state's education system.

A classroom scene with a world map pinned on the wall, reflecting the centered discussion about K-12 schools. Ensure a neutral classroom setting devoid of specific cultural influences. Taken with a Nikon D850.

Rep. Stefanik raised her concerns on the extent of CCP's inward flow of funds into K-12 schools, accusing New York's 'Far Left Democrat leaders' of negligence while the Chinese Communist Party expands its imprint on American classrooms. She expressed concern about this being a threat to national security and an apparent attempt by China to indoctrinate America's future generation.

Nicole Neily, president and founder of PDE also weighed in on the issue. She emphasised that transparency and accountability in public schools should not be a partisan issue. She expressed hope that Governor Hochul would leverage the powers within her reach to investigate the extent of these programs in New York public schools.

The damning letter demanded Governor Hochul to enact preventative measures against rising Chinese influence by instructing the New York Department of Education to compile data on funding and programming from foreign-backed entities. It also proposed the implementation of a system for public school districts to annually disclose foreign funds received and the specific programs they fund.

Rep. Brandon Williams suggested his recently introduced bill, the Stop Funding Our Adversaries Act, as a potential countermeasure to halt taxpayer dollars from aiding research linked to the Chinese Communist Party. He expressed grave concerns on the covert infiltration of American classrooms by the 'tentacles of espionage and influence' of the CCP.

Portrait of an unidentified lawmaker standing in front of the American Flag, showing the firm stance of the politicians against the issue at hand. Taken with a Sony Alpha a7 III.

Before it's too late, we need to take bold steps to expel all CCP involvement from our education institutions, especially our K-12 classrooms, he added.

The Chinese government's implication in American education seems to stretch beyond direct funding. The report cites use of grants, sister school partnerships and 'Confucius Institutes' purportedly used to promote China's 'Belt and Road' initiative.

Moreover, the lawmakers have insisted on an investigation into any potential exposure of student data benefiting China's government and military through these partnerships. They also sought to probe any links to China's military and energy universities, known to operate under governmental instruction.

In a weighty conclusion, the letter termed the Chinese Communist Party 'the greatest threat to freedom we face today.' The lawmakers urged Governor Hochul to help in safeguarding the students and their families from falling prey to the malevolent intentions of the CCP, and expressed a collective desire to work together in blocking this danger.