State representatives are less than enthusiastic over Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves’ proposal to dump millions into creating a ‘Patriotic Education Fund,’ arguing it is local schools’ responsibility to decide what to teach.
Reeves’ call for spending $3 million on a “Patriotic Education Fund” has met with a chilly reception even from many in his own party, who pointed out in the days since the governor unveiled his proposal earlier this week that it has long been the job of individual school districts to decide their curricula.
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“When there was a national push to include Common Core in all school districts, the Legislature authorized the State Board of Education and local school districts to determine the best approach” for their individual district, House Education Chairman Richard Bennett, a Republican, told local outlet Y’allPolitics on Thursday.
Reeves’ proposal would channel the funding bonanza to schools that combat what the governor described as “revisionist history” demonizing “capitalism, democracy, and other uniquely American values.” He denounced what he called a “targeted campaign from foreign and domestic influence” aimed at destroying “the pillars of our society.”
“The United States is the greatest country in the history of the world. No other nation has done more for its citizens or to advance freedom and prosperity across the globe,” Reeves gushed. “We need to combat the dramatic shift in education.”
Some Republicans embraced the institutionalization of jingoistic history lessons in public school curricula. “I support a special fund to create a patriotic history fund and curriculum in our public school systems that teachers can promote the greatness of America,” Republican Senator Chad McMahon, a member of the Senate Education Committee, said. Fellow Republican Senator Angela Hill agreed, declaring “Students shouldn’t be just taught about our shortcomings, but our triumphs and accomplishments as well.”
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However, Democrats like House minority leader Robert Johnson denounced the program as “$3 million of political bullsh*t,” observing that after putting his three children through the state public school system, none of their teachers had “indoctrinated them with far-left teachings that emphasize America’s shortcomings.”
Fellow Democrat, Senator David Blount, concurred, suggesting teachers would “see no need to spend $3 million in taxpayers’ money for a state-driven ideological curriculum czar.”
Reeves’ proposal echoes an executive order signed by President Donald Trump earlier this month to establish a “1776 Commission” intended to push back against the infiltration of revisionist lesson plans like the New York Times’ 1619 Project into public school classrooms.
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