A recent investigation has shed light on China’s extensive investment in American K-12 schools, raising concerns over potential infiltration and influence on students’ education. The report, titled “Little Red Classrooms: China’s Infiltration of American K-12 Schools,” published by the group “Parents Defending Education,” uncovers China’s financial support to various schools in the U.S., with a particular focus on those located near military bases.
According to the report, China has channeled more than $17 million into 134 schools across 34 states and Washington, D.C., from 2009 to 2023. Many of these schools are strategically situated near military installations, raising questions about the motives behind China’s investments. For instance, Thomas Jefferson High School in Falls Church, Va., received almost $1 million over the past decade.
This financial involvement is facilitated through the “Confucius Classrooms” program, which operates under Confucius Institutes. While these initiatives present themselves as teaching Chinese language and culture, critics argue that they predominantly portray China in a positive light, glossing over contentious issues such as human rights violations and political censorship.
China’s strategic approach to investing in American schools is seen within the context of its global Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), aimed at expanding its global influence through technology and business ventures. Some point to the fact that Hunter Biden, with his links to China, has supported the BRI, raising concerns about the intentions behind China’s educational funding.
The investigation highlights the broader challenge of foreign influence in American education, echoing concerns about indoctrination and ideological bias that have arisen from debates around the curriculum. As concerns grow about the impact of foreign investment on shaping young minds and controlling narratives, there is a call for increased transparency and vigilance on the part of parents, school boards, and policymakers. Proactive engagement with school boards and community organizations is seen as crucial in addressing these concerns and preserving the integrity of American education.