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Trump calls universities ‘Radical Left Indoctrination,’ threatens their federal funding

President Donald Trump on Friday tweeted a threat to public education in America, including higher education, by calling schools and universities leftist indoctrination camps and threatening their federal funding.

“Too many Universities and School Systems are about Radical Left Indoctrination, not Education. Therefore, I am telling the Treasury Department to re-examine their Tax-Exempt Status… and/or Funding, which will be taken away if this Propaganda or Act Against Public Policy continues. Our children must be Educated, not Indoctrinated!”

While the tweet and his direction to the Treasury Department likely has much more bark than bite, especially when it comes to K-12 public schools, it signals the president’s growing frustration with the curriculum inside today’s classrooms and the fact that, like the mainstream media, public education has largely become an arm of the Democratic Party.

Left-leaning progressives — mostly notably in colleges and universities — have infused identity politics themes into virtually every subject and encouraged young people to view academics through the lenses of race, sexuality, gender and socioeconomics.

Many observers today blame the extreme racial divisiveness in America today on the tribalism, race-baiting and blame games advanced inside the classroom over traditional educations in civics, history, English — and even the sciences.

There’s a sentiment today that young people are taught to hate America, blame it for the world’s evils, think all white people are racist (whether they know it or not), and believe socialism is the only equitable solution. The reality is that belief is not an exaggeration — and The College Fix has 10,000 articles to prove it.

As for Trump’s tweet, it may be a political maneuver as well. Trump has been pushing schools hard to open completely in the fall in the wake of COVID-19 and many schools and universities are putting teachers’ unions demands, educators’ fears of the virus, and the upcoming presidential election ahead of what’s best for kids and students. To that end, the president’s using the threat of a loss of funds.

In fact, right after Harvard University announced instruction would remain online for the 2020-21 academic year due to coronavirus, ICE announced a new policy that requires international students on visas to either attend in-person classes or leave the United States. International student tuition is a cash cow for universities like Harvard. Universities have filed a lawsuit in an attempt to have the policy revoked.

Trump has also flat out threatened to withhold funding to schools if they don’t reopen this fall, tweeting: “In Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and many other countries, SCHOOLS ARE OPEN WITH NO PROBLEMS. The Dems think it would be bad for them politically if U.S. schools open before the November Election, but is important for the children & families. May cut off funding if not open!”

The president added in a later tweet: “Now that we have witnessed it on a large scale basis, and firsthand, Virtual Learning has proven to be TERRIBLE compared to In School, or On Campus, Learning. Not even close! Schools must be open in the Fall. If not open, why would the Federal Government give Funding? It won’t!!!”

U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos*, who agrees schools should reopen fully, has offered something along a similar vein as Trump.

“If schools aren’t going to reopen, we’re not suggesting pulling funding from education,” DeVos told Fox News in an interview. “But instead allowing families [to] take that money and figure out where their kids can get educated if their schools are going to refuse to open.”

“Schools can reopen safely and they must reopen.”

MORE: As ICE requires international students take in-person classes or leave U.S., universities balk

*Disclosure

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About the Author
Fix Editor
Jennifer Kabbany is editor of The College Fix. She previously worked as a daily newspaper reporter and columnist for a decade in Southern California, and prior to that held editorial positions at The Weekly Standard, Washington Times and FrontPageMagazine. She is also a Robert Novak Journalism Fellowship recipient and has contributed to National Review.

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