Blackburn, Cotton, McConnell, Colleagues Introduce Bill to Defund 1619 Project Curriculum

June 14, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) reintroduced the Saving American History Act, legislation to prohibit the use of federal funds to teach the 1619 Project by K-12 schools or school districts. Schools that teach the 1619 Project would also be ineligible for federal professional-development grants. Bill text may be found here.


U.S. Representatives Ken Buck (R-Colo.-4) and Rick Allen (R-Ga.-12) introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives.


“American schools should be a place for education—not indoctrination,” said Blackburn. “The 1619 Project is based on a false narrative and a stack of untruths and misrepresentations about our country. This state sponsored anti-American propaganda must be kept out of the classroom. The Saving American History Act ensures that taxpayer funding will not subsidize the brainwashing of our nation’s future.”


“High-quality civics education is vital to the health of our democracy,” said McConnell. “Debunked activist propaganda that seeks to divide has no place in American classrooms and no right to taxpayer funding. I’m proud to join in sponsoring this legislation on behalf of our youngest citizens and generations yet to come.”


“Activists in schools want to teach our kids to hate America and hate each other using discredited, Critical Race Theory curricula like the 1619 Project. Federal funds should not pay for activists to masquerade as teachers and indoctrinate our youth,” said Cotton.


“The heart of the 1619 Project’s central claim and key parts of its framework have been disputed by respected scholars and historians, and rightfully so. It has no business in our classrooms in Arkansas and across the country. This misguided and academically suspect curriculum represents the exact opposite of what we should be encouraging educators to instruct and promote – accurate and contextual understanding of our past along with the importance of civic engagement, cooperation and the significance of the shared values that set our country apart and above,” said Boozman.


“The 1619 Project and Critical Race Theory are efforts to rewrite the history of our country, ignoring the many things that have made America great. I’m proud to work with my colleague Tom Cotton to keep taxpayer dollars from funding this,” said Lummis.


“I have significant concerns with the Department of Education’s recent effort to reorient the bipartisan American History and Civics Education programs away from their intended purposes towards a politicized and divisive agenda,” said Tillis. “Americans do not want their tax dollars going towards promoting radical ideologies meant to divide us instead of being used to promote the principles that unite our nation. Our students deserve a rigorous understanding of civics and American history, to understand both our successes and failures as a nation. I do not support diverting tax-payer resources towards promoting ideological and misleading depictions of our Nation’s history and I am proud to work on this important legislation with my colleagues to address this issue.”


“When done right, education is the key to freedom. By expediting the use of the 1619 Project, our schools are coming perilously close to cementing existing inequality, rather than giving kids the chance to escape it. The U.S. government should not spend a single taxpayer dollar to teach children to dislike their country. I’m proud to cosponsor this legislation so that our schools can encourage the open debate of ideas and teach important morals to our students,” said Tuberville.


“Critical Race Theory is dangerous, anti-American, and has no place in our nation’s schools. School curriculum plays a critical role in a child’s development and greatly influences the type of adult they will become. Children shouldn’t be taught that they will be treated differently or will be racist because of their skin color,” said Buck.


“The 1619 Project aims to indoctrinate our students into believing that America is an evil country, and there is no room for that in our classrooms. We must teach our young folks to learn from our nation’s past in order to form a more perfect union. Teaching revisionist history and promoting divisive ideology will not move our nation forward. This legislation will ensure federal dollars are used to provide our children with historically accurate curriculum,” said Allen.




• The 1619 Project is a revisionist history project of the New York Times widely criticized by historians.

• Despite major criticism of the project, schools around the country have begun incorporating the 1619 Project into their curricula. So far, schools or school districts in Chicago; Newark, N.J.; Buffalo, N.Y., and Washington, D.C. have all reportedly announced 1619 Project-related programs.