skip to main content

S. 4292: Saving American History Act of 2020


The text of the bill below is as of Jul 23, 2020 (Introduced).

Summary of this bill

Is the project “racially divisive” or a meaningful retelling of American history from the perspective of a too-often-excluded demographic?

Context

Started in August 2019, the New York Times’ 1619 Project is an initiative by the publication to reframe the origins for many of today’s current political issues in the context of slavery and its aftermath. Named after the year that slaves first arrived in the colonies, the project’s essays, photography collages, and podcast episodes have titles such as:


II

116th CONGRESS

2d Session

S. 4292

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

July 23, 2020

introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions

A BILL

To prohibit Federal funds from being made available to teach the 1619 Project curriculum in elementary schools and secondary schools, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Saving American History Act of 2020.

2.

Findings

Congress finds the following:

(1)

The true date of America’s founding is July 4, 1776, the day the Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Second Continental Congress.

(2)

The self-evident truths set forth by that Declaration are the fundamental principles upon which America was founded.

(3)

An activist movement is now gaining momentum to deny or obfuscate this history by claiming that America was not founded on the ideals of the Declaration but rather on slavery and oppression.

(4)

This distortion of American history is being taught to children in public school classrooms via the New York Times’ 1619 Project, which claims that nearly everything that has truly made America exceptional grew out of slavery.

(5)

The 1619 Project is a racially divisive and revisionist account of history that threatens the integrity of the Union by denying the true principles on which it was founded.

(6)

The Federal Government has a strong interest in promoting an accurate account of the Nation’s history through public schools and forming young people into knowledgeable and patriotic citizens.

3.

Prohibition of Federal funding for schools to teach the 1619 Project curriculum

(a)

Definitions

In this section:

(1)

ESEA

The terms elementary school, local educational agency, and secondary school have the meanings given the terms in section 8101 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 7801).

(2)

Secretary

The term Secretaries means the Secretary of Education, the Secretary of Agriculture, and the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

(b)

Prohibition of use of federal funding for 1619 Project

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no Federal funds shall be used by any—

(1)

elementary school or secondary school to teach the 1619 Project initiative of the New York Times in such school; or

(2)

local educational agency to support the teaching of the 1619 Project initiative of the New York Times in the public schools served by such agency.

(c)

Prohibition on federal professional development funds for schools that teach the 1619 Project

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an elementary school or secondary school that teaches the 1619 Project initiative of the New York Times in such school or a local educational agency that supports the teaching of the 1619 Project initiative of the New York Times in the public schools served by such agency shall not receive any Federal funding for professional development.

(d)

Determination of cost and reduction in federal funds

(1)

In general

In the case of an elementary school or secondary school that receives Federal funds and teaches the 1619 Project initiative of the New York Times in such school or a local educational agency that supports the teaching of the 1619 Project initiative of the New York Times in the public schools served by such agency, the Secretaries shall determine the cost associated with teaching the 1619 Project, including in planning time and teaching time.

(2)

Reductions

The Secretaries, based on coordinated prorated formulas established by the Secretaries, shall reduce Federal funds provided to an elementary school, secondary school, or local educational agency described in paragraph (1) in an amount equal to the cost amount determined under paragraph (1).

(3)

No reduction for certain funds

In reducing Federal funds to an elementary school, secondary school, or local educational agency under paragraph (2), the Secretaries shall not reduce Federal funds for—

(A)

the free and reduced price school lunch program established under the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (42 U.S.C. 1751 et seq.), or any other program for low-income students; or

(B)

students with disabilities.

(e)

Future funding

The Secretaries shall promulgate regulations to ensure that Federal funds provided after the date of enactment of this Act to an elementary school, secondary school, or local educational agency comply with the requirements and restrictions provided under this Act.