Tom Cotton Introduces Bill to Prohibit Federal Funding for Schools Using ‘1619 Project’ Curriculum

Sen. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) speaks during a Senate Intelligence Committee nomination hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., May 5, 2020. (Gabriella Demczuk/Reuters)

Senator Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) introduced a law on Thursday that would prohibit federal funding for schools that incorporate curriculum from the New York Times‘s “1619 Project.”

The 1619 Project, named after the year when colonists first brought slaves to the U.S., attempts to retell American history by emphasizing the importance of slavery in the country’s earliest years. However, historians have criticized the project for basic “factual errors” and a ” displacement of historical understanding by ideology.” (One example of such an error in the project is the assertion that the colonies revolted from British rule in order to preserve slavery.)

“The New York Times’s 1619 Project is a racially divisive, revisionist account of history that denies the noble principles of freedom and equality on which our nation was founded,” Cotton said in a statement. “Not a single cent of federal funding should go to indoctrinate young Americans with this left-wing garbage.”

According to Cotton, the bill would not affect federal funding allocated to low-income or special-needs students.

The Times has announced plans to incorporate material from the project in public school curricula. Districts in several major cities including Chicago, Ill., and Washington, D.C., have adopted some of these materials.

Writer Nikole Hannah-Jones won a Pulitzer Prize in April for her lead essay for the project.

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.


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