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Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin’s administration has demanded that a liberal school system cut ties with allegedly Chinese Communist Party-linked groups, according to a letter obtained by The Daily Wire.
“The news that Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST) and the TJHSST Partnership Fund (Fund) have accepted significant financial contributions from entities known to have connections with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) raises significant concerns,” and could affect the goal of removing “political indoctrination in our children’s classrooms,” Secretary of Education Aimee Rogstad Guidera wrote to Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Michelle Reid.
Guidera demanded to know how much money was accepted, how the money was used, whether the “CCP-linked entities that contributed to the Fund provided any guidance, influence or instructional materials,” and whether any school materials or student data were provided to the Chinese groups.
“I am requesting that you direct schools within your division to cut ties with CCP-linked partners. Furthermore, I have asked the Virginia Department of Education to investigate the prevalence of such relationships between CCP-linked partners and local school divisions across the Commonwealth,” the letter said.
The Washington Examiner reported, citing documents unearthed by Parents Defending Education, that TJ “partnered with Tsinghua University High School (TUHS) in 2014 to assist it and China generally with adopting the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and advanced lab research TJHSST is famous for. TUHS is closely tied to Tsinghua University, considered by the Pentagon to be a Chinese military university.”
The TJ Fund also received hundreds of thousands from the Ameson Education and Cultural Exchange Foundation and a Chinese company called Shirble, both of which have ties to the United Front Work Department, a foreign influence campaign, the Examiner reported.
Youngkin, a Republican, won the governorship in 2021 in part on his education platform.
Democrats last month killed a plan to highlight in schools the outcomes and death tolls associated with Communism — one of the most significant events of the 20th century — with a teachers union official saying that it could cause anti-Asian bigotry since some modern Communist countries are in Asia.
In addition to Democrats routinely saying schools should incorporate leftist lessons like the 1619 Project because they simply want to teach “whole history,” that rationale was odd because Virginia Democrats have vigorously acted to decrease the number of Asians in competitive programs like Thomas Jefferson, including by removing the admissions test after Asians tended to score highly. Democrats preferred what they called a “merit lottery” instead. The move resulted in a 54% reduction in the number of Asians at the highly competitive magnet school.
Last year, a judge ruled that Fairfax officials illegally tried to reduce the Asian population of the school, with federal Judge Claude Hilton writing that “discussion of TJ admissions changes was infected with talk of racial balancing from its inception.” The all-Democrat school board has appealed the ruling.
The liberal school system defied Youngkin after he declared that parents had the right to send their kids to school without wearing masks.
Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares has since opened multiple inquiries into Fairfax schools, most recently after it sent a letter offering college prep classes to black and Hispanic students, omitting Asians and whites from the flyer. TJ and other Fairfax schools also withheld merit awards from students, potentially costing them scholarships, while school officials pursued “equal outcomes without exception.”
Miyares has discussed how his family fled Communist Cuba, saying the country was “nationalized: in the name of fairness and equity” and that his uncle was arrested by dictator Fidel Castro’s secret police. “In Soviet-style communist states like Cuba, the state diminishes parents. They say, ‘Your loyalty is to the state,’ and parents have less control,” he said.