by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has, or has had, ties to 143 school districts in the United States, including 20 near military bases, through its “Confucius Classrooms,” according to a recent report, “Little Red Classrooms: China’s Infiltration of American K-12 Schools” by Parents Defending Education (PDE), a grassroots organization.
Attention to Confucius Institutes has mainly been centered around colleges and universities, but less so on K-12 education. This means that Chinese state propaganda is probably now pretty much all over American K-12 classrooms.
PDE observed that more than $17 million had been spent by the CCP on Confucius classrooms in the US between the years 2009-2023.
“Three of the nation’s top science and technology high schools have ties to Chinese government affiliated programs including Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology has had ties to Tsinghua University High School—the high school affiliated with one of China’s top military schools, Tsinghua University…” — Peter Wood, President, National Association of Scholars, Daily Signal, August 15, 2023.
“[W]hat’s happening in these schools is that they learn that China is a benevolent institution, the heir of an ancient civilization that means nothing but goodwill to the rest of the world… And the notion that you can take children who have some aptitude for the hard sciences and math and get them to view China as a potential partner and friend… all through their educational careers. We’re creating an assembly line for talented young men and women who will be unable to distinguish the American national interest from the Chinese national interest. They’re getting blurred together at a young age and that’s very difficult to undo once it’s done.” [Emphasis added.] — Peter Wood, Daily Signal, August 15, 2023.
Wood noted that CCP infiltration of American K-12 schools is “almost everywhere.”