August 30, 2023

Senator Schmitt, Colleagues Call for Biden Administration to Investigate Chinese State Influence in American K-12 Schools and Protect Kids From CCP Espionage

WASHINGTON – Today, Senator Eric Schmitt cosigned a letter to U.S. Department of Education Secretary Miguel Cardona expressing concerns over new reports showing millions of dollars from Chinese Communist Party (CCP) linked entities have flowed into America’s K-12 classrooms.

“China is our top adversary, and every public servant has a duty to protect Americans from Chinese Communist Party espionage and propaganda. There is no doubt the Chinese Communist Party is playing for keeps – it’s far past time this Administration recognizes that as fact, and this insidious influence campaign must be investigated immediately,” said Senator Eric Schmitt.  

Cosigners of the letter include: Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Senator Jim Risch (R-ID), Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR.), Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Senator James Lankford (R-OK.), Senator Roger Marshall (R-KS), Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT), Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), Senator Rick Scott (R-FL), Senator John Thune (R-SD), Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), and Senator J.D. Vance (R-OH). 


  • The letter requests:
    • The U.S. Department of Education to conduct a nationwide audit to determine the extent of funding from hostile foreign adversaries in schools. 
    • An investigation occurs amid revelations that, for nearly two decades, the CCP has threatened our national security by using tools such as grants, sister school partnerships, “Confucius Classrooms”, and other state-sponsored programming to compromise the integrity of America’s K-12 educational system.
  • Senator Schmitt has been at the forefront of the fight against Chinese espionage:
    • Co-sponsored Senator Ted Cruz’s Protecting America from Spies (SPIES) Act and Protecting Military Installations and Ranges Act to prevent China and other foreign adversaries’ covert activities in the United States.
    • Sponsored an amendment to the Senate’s version of the FY2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to prohibit the Department of Defense (DoD) from contracting for online education services that could result in US citizens’ data falling under control of Communist China. 
    • Sent a letter to the Department of State demanding answers and information regarding the cyber-espionage operations allegedly conducted by China’s state-sponsored cyber-espionage group, Storm-0558, against State Department Information Systems.

Read the letter to Secretary Cardona here.