Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri is pushing legislation that would bar K-12 educational entities from receiving federal funds if they teach that the U.S. Constitution, Declaration of Independence, or Pledge of Allegiance are the result of white supremacy or racism.
"Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no Federal funds shall be provided to an educational agency or school that teaches that the Pledge of Allegiance, the Declaration of Independence, or the Constitution of the United States is a product of white supremacy or racism," the bill declares.
Hawley's Love America Act of 2021 would also provide that federal money should go only to educational entities where certain requirements are met regarding students in certain grade levels.
These requirements include: First-grade students must read and be capable of reciting the pledge; fourth-graders must read the U.S. Constitution and be able to recite the preamble; eighth-graders must read the Declaration of Independence and be able to recite the preamble; and tenth-graders must read and be able to identify the Bill of Rights.
"Over the past year, Americans have watched stunned as a radical ideology spread through our country's elite institutions—one that teaches America is an irredeemably racist nation founded by white supremacists. Now it has found its way into our children's schools. We cannot afford for our children to lose faith in the noble ideals this country was founded on," Hawley said, according to a press release. "We have to make sure that our children understand what makes this country great, the ideals of hope and promise our Founding Fathers fought for, and the love of country that unites us all."
The lawmaker's push for the bill comes amid an ongoing societal debate over critical race theory (CRT) and the teaching of CRT concepts.
Hawley has served as a GOP senator from the Show-Me State since 2019.
"The Left wants to teach our kids that America is systemically racist. That's false and it's meant to divide. It's time to replace lies with the truth! America is a great nation of good people - and our kids should be proud of that. That's why I'm introducing the Love America Act," the senator tweeted last week.
"No more critical race theory. No more hate. Let's teach our kids what unites us as Americans - what we love together. Let's teach them the truth," Hawley tweeted.