Funds meant to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 have instead been used to fund woke ideology in schools, according to accusations from House Republicans.
Fox News Digital obtained a letter sent to Education Secretary Miguel Cardona Monday demanding an account for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds.
The letter came from House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, House Education and the Workforce Committee Chair Virginia Foxx, and House COVID Committee Chairman Brad Wenstrup.
“Rather than use ESSER funds to help students recover from learning losses, some states and school districts that kept schools closed appear to have spent ESSER funds to push favored social agendas,” they wrote.
The committee chairs said the ESSER funds were used for Critical Race Theory-inspired (CRT) “implicit bias training” and “LGBTQ+ cultural competency,” in states such as Massachusetts, California, New York and Illinois.
Republicans previously blasted a Department of Education (ED) report that advocated the use of ESSER funds for “systemic change at the local and school level.”
CRT contends that racism in the U.S. is “systemic” and demands “systemic change.”
“Rebuilding from COVID-19 is an opportunity to reexamine and strengthen school policies,” said the ED report, adding that some school systems may see a need for a “culture shift” to ensure schools “reopen equitably for all students.”
Fox News reports that at least $46.5 billion from the ESSER funds has been allocated to 13 states planning to use the funds to implement CRT in schools.
Cardona even congratulated California for its plan, calling it part of President Biden’s “Build Back Better” progressive agenda.
It’s not the first time that ED funding to support education has been used to implement CRT and affiliated LGBT ideologies.
An Obama era law, Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) has been used to support race-based education including CRT, under the guise of local control.
ESSA has a pool of funds in the form of grants that allow underperforming schools to apply to the federal government for money to advance innovations to improve performance, reported Accuracy in Media.
Some of those innovations have included lowering standards for failing schools to make it appear that students are doing better.
Others have included race-based grading, and race-based student assessments, said the report.
The money has also been used to introduce controversial curriculum such as the 1619 Project through progressive technology platforms like Newsela.
ESSA is a $17 billion annual outlay, unlike the ESSER funds, which were one-time funds for reopening schools after COVID-19.
Wenstrup said that House Republicans had an obligation to investigate whether the ESSER funds were misused.
“This includes whether government officials placed their own interests ahead of America’s children by misusing or wasting government funds on political pet projects,” Wenstrup said.