FILE - West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey

(The Center Square) – West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has joined a 20-state fight against a proposal that has been issued by the U.S. Department of Education that attorneys general say will force critical race theory into American schools.

“The proposed priorities would dilute the quality of American history and civics education in America in favor of a hyper-racialized and ahistorical doctrine,” Morrisey joined in writing. “They are not focused on promoting truth or a holistic understanding of American history and the ideals that the Founders used to establish our country as required by statute, but instead are being used to promote revisionist American history and principles that lead to more discrimination.”

Morrisey and the other attorneys general sent an eight-page letter last week to the U.S. Department of Education, urging the department, now under the leadership Miguel Cardona, to either drop the proposal or at least make clear federal taxpayer money can’t be used “to fund projects that are based on [critical race theory], including any projects that characterize the United States as irredeemably racist or founded on principles of racism (as opposed to principles of equality) or that purport to ascribe character traits, values, privileges, status, or beliefs, or that assign fault, blame, or bias, to a particular race or to an individual because of his or her race.”

The U.S. Department of Education issued two proposed “priorities” last month that would direct federal grant money to projects that “incorporate racially, ethnically, culturally, and linguistically diverse perspectives into teaching and learning” and projects that “promote information literacy skills.”

Specifically, the money would go to programs that train new and veteran teachers in how to teach American history, civics and government and involve teaching high school students about American history and/or civics.

Three grants were awarded in 2018, including one for $1.4 million to the University of Wisconsin-Parkside for “Uncovering an Alternative Narrative: Diverse Contributions to American History and Civics.”

A second one, for $3.5 million, was awarded to the Kentucky Educational Development Corporation, and a third, for $2.8 million, to the Center for Civic Education, based in Calabasas, California.

The other state attorneys general who signed the letter include Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Indiana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Ohio.

Regional Editor

An Ohio native, J.D. Davidson is a veteran journalist with more than 30 years of experience in newspapers in Ohio, Georgia, Alabama and Texas. He has served as a reporter, editor, managing editor and publisher.