Education Department tries to tamp down controversy over U.S. history/civics grant program (subscription)

By: | July 20, 2021

The U.S. Education Department is trying to tamp down controversy over a $3 million grant program for teaching U.S. history and civics that led conservatives to accuse the Biden administration of trying to mandate the use of specific materials about systemic racism in the classroom.

The department published a notice Monday in the Federal Register requesting applications for grants that dropped references to published anti-racism works that had been mentioned in proposed rules released in April for the American History and Civics Education grant program, and that had drawn the ire of conservatives.

The proposed rules did not actually suggest the contested material would be required for grantees to use, but Education Secretary Miguel Cardona addressed concerns of critics by making clear in a blog post that curriculum decisions will not be dictated by the federal government.

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