Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has joined a multistate coalition of 20 attorneys general urging the Biden Administration to reconsider educational proposals aimed at imposing the teaching of critical race theory (CRT), the 1619 Project, and other similar curricula into America’s classrooms. Such goals are woven into a proposed new rule by the U.S. Department of Education establishing priorities for grants in American History and Civics Education programs.
“It is imperative we teach our students historical truths in the classroom rather than deeply flawed and controversial teachings of Critical Race Theory that distort our great nation’s past,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “This letter tells the Biden Administration to protect what Arkansas students learn in schools and not adopt the proposed rule.”
In a letter to U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, Attorney General Rutledge and the other state attorneys general urge the Department to review the directives for teaching “traditional American history” as prescribed in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015.
“Congress made clear that the purpose of the ESSA programs is to advance a traditional understanding of American history, civics, and government,” the letter states. “The proposed priorities would do little to advance that goal.”
The ESSA was described by the Wall Street Journal as the “largest devolution of federal control to the states in a quarter century.” The legislation gave authority back to parents, teachers, and local communities in deciding education policy.
Along with Attorney General Rutledge and Indiana Attorney General, the letter is joined by the attorneys general of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia.