Trump threatens to defund schools that teach '1619 Project'
President Trump said Sunday that the Department of Education is examining the use of the New York Times Magazine's 1619 Project in schools, and warned that institutions that teach this alternative narrative of American history could lose federal funding.
The project is based on the premise that American history began in 1619 -- cited as the date African slaves arrived in Virginia -- and that everything following this should be viewed through that lens. The Pulitzer Center released a school curriculum based on the project, and Trump responded to a tweet stating that California would be using it.
"Department of Education is looking at this," Trump said. "If so, they will not be funded!"
Trump's tweet echoes the sentiment of a bill Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., introduced in July. That bill proposed denying funds to any school that uses the 1619 Project in its curriculum. At the time, schools in areas including Chicago and Washington, D.C., had already amended their history curricula to reflect the project's messages.
The project, created by Nikole Hannah-Jones, was awarded the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary. However, multiple historians have criticized the series of articles for multiple inaccuracies, including the argument that the American Revolution was fought not to achieve independence from Britain, but to preserve the institution of slavery.
In a statement, Cotton called the project “a racially divisive, revisionist account of history that denies the noble principles of freedom and equality on which our nation was founded.”
Editor Note: Public schools are mostly funded by local property taxes and state governments.
Fox News' Bradford Betz contributed to this report.