U.S. Senator Tim Scott introduced two new bills on Thursday seeking to curb antisemitism in higher education and expand charter school options for K-12 students.
The first bill – the Stop Antisemitism on College Campuses Act – would rescind federal education dollars from any institution that promotes antisemitism or facilitates events that promote such views.
“Any university or college that peddles blatant antisemitism, especially after Hamas’ brutal attack on Israeli civilians, women and children, has no place molding the minds of future generations, never mind receiving millions of taxpayer funds to do so,” Sen. Scott, R-South Carolina, said in his press release.
Scott, who is also running the GOP presidential nomination, calls out several universities for not condemning their students’ antisemitic statements and events, including Harvard, which has reportedly received over $600 million in federal funds.
University of Pennsylvania, which is also in hot water after losing a major donor over antisemitism, received over $40 million in federal grants during the 2021-22 school year alone.
“If these schools don’t change their ways, my legislation hits them where it hurts – their pocketbooks,” the senator added.
U.S. Rep. Michael Lawler, R-New York, introduced a similar bill in the House in May. Scott’s bill is co-sponsored by six Republican senators.
The South Carolinian senator is also aiming to expand school choice through the bipartisan Empower Charter School Educators to Lead Act, which would streamline the process for charter school startups to receive federal funds.
“Every child – no matter their zip code – should have access to an education that sets them up to live out their version of the American Dream,” Scott’s press release read. “Making it easier to open first-rate charter schools in the communities that need them most will ensure more students have access to the education opportunities best suited for them.”
The bill is co-cosponsored by four Republicans and four Democrats, and endorsed by a variety of charter school coalitions.
The number of charter schools is increasing rapidly as families seek alternatives to traditional public schools.
Despite receiving less funding, charters generally produce better academic outcomes than their traditional public school counterparts.