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Cole Statement on DOE Critical Race Theory Reversal

July 19, 2021
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) released the following statement after the U.S. Department of Education published updated priorities today for the upcoming grant cycle for the American History and Civics programs. This included a change to the previously proposed mandate that grant applicants teach critical race theory – a mandate which Cole urged Secretary Miguel Cardona to withdraw in May.  

“I am pleased to see the U.S. Department of Education drop its mandate that applicants for civics and history education programs teach critical race theory and the 1619 Project to American schoolchildren,” said Cole. “Furthermore, I am glad to see Secretary Miguel Cardona affirm that the Department of Education has no role in dictating curriculum decisions in schools. As I told Secretary Cardona both in person and in writing, schools should not be subject to federal curricular mandates, and civics education should be fact-based and balanced without political undertones. I urge the Department to refrain from endorsing critical race theory in future grant announcements. Moving forward, I remain committed to ensuring the Department maintains a hands-off approach and providing oversight in my capacity as Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Committee’s subcommittee for education.”