Behind the Poll

Federal taxpayers fund program paying students $5k to receive training in critical race theory

Federal grant records show the U.S. Department of Education has awarded millions of taxpayer dollars to fund critical race theory training for future educators at several colleges across the country.

“This is an example of federal funding for CRT at the post secondary level that also has an impact on K-12 schools based on the goals and activities of the fellowship,” said Jonathan Butcher, an education expert at the Heritage Foundation. “This directly exposes the claims that CRT is not used in K-12 schools as false. “Butcher went on to add that “the grant clearly has goals for teacher training that include instruction in CRT.”

The program is part of a collaborative effort with other higher education institutions around the country. Various schools have been involved over the years, including Penn State, University of North Carolina Wilmington, Duke University, University of Pittsburgh, University of South Carolina, University of New Mexico, and the New School for Social Research. Though RISE remained based out of NCCU, the program allowed certain “students and faculty mentors from collaborating institutions” to receive training in critical race theory, according to the federal grant.

“Given the prevalence of CRT in K-12 curriculum elsewhere in the country, lawmakers and the media should identify examples of this racially discriminatory teaching and reject the application of such racial obsessions in classroom work,” Butcher said.

The grant comes amid a national debate over the merits of critical race theory and its role in the K-12 education system. A proposal to ban federal funding of critical race theory has taken center stage in Congress, where senators duked it out over an amendment that would do just that as part of Biden’s reconciliation spending.

Whether that bill gets across the finish line with the controversial CRT measure intact remains to be seen.