Top Republican pressures Cardona to purge CRT material from Education Department

Department of Education receives backlash for link to radical pro-CRT group

Chief Washington correspondent Mike Emanuel on the White House walking back a connection to the Abolitionist Teaching Network.

Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., on Friday called on President Biden’s Education Secretary to fully and publicly denounce Critical Race Theory (CRT) material after the department promoted the radical Abolitionist Teaching Network in an official school reopening handbook, which officials later said was in “error.”

Foxx, the top Republican on the House Education Committee, sent a letter to Secretary Miguel Cardona on Friday demanding he issue a press release committing to the American people that nothing in the Department of Education’s programs encourage schools to “align with the Abolitionist Teaching Network or its self-described ‘coconspirators.’”


“Mr. Secretary, it is imperative that you take this opportunity to correct the early errors in the Department’s support of this divisive agenda,” Foxx said in the letter to Cardona. 

The letter follows reporting from Fox News that the Biden administration’s guidance for school reopening promoted a radical activist group’s handbook that advocates for educators to “disrupt Whiteness and other forms of oppression.” 

The Department of Education linked to the Abolitionist Teaching Network’s “Guide for Racial Justice & Abolitionist Social and Emotional Learning” in its handbook and recommended how they should spend billions of dollars they collectively received through the American Rescue Plan.

The Abolitionist Teaching Network’s website includes links to various materials and media that include language often associated with Critical Race Theory, though the group avoids using the exact phrase.

Education Secretary Miguel Cardona

The Department of Education later denounced the inclusion of the group’s teaching in its COVID-19 reopening handbook and called it an “error.”

“The Department does not endorse the recommendations of this group, nor do they reflect our policy positions,” the Department of Education said in a statement earlier this week. “It was an error in a lengthy document to include this citation.” 

Foxx questioned whether the Department of Education would have announced an “error” if a media company hadn’t exposed the issue. She said the Education Department “has established a pattern of supporting critical race theory-related information and material that divides our students and communities based on race.”

Foxx called on Cardona to “personally review” all Department of Education handbook citations “within two weeks” to ensure CRT is not included. She also asked for “all communications between Department staff and the Abolitionist Teaching Network or [co-founder] Professor Bettina Love or anyone who might have been associated with her.”

The Department of Education did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment Friday. 

Fox News’ Ethan Barton and Jessica Chasmar contributed to this report. 

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