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Ryan Walters testifies to U.S. House on Chinese government's influence on American schools

Ryan Walters is seen after a debate between Republican candidates running for the state's Superintendent of Public Instruction on June 22, 2022.
Whitney Bryen
Oklahoma Watch

Walters provided testimony related to funding for Confucius Classrooms in K-12 schools and Confucius Institutes at colleges and universities, which are language programs managed by a Chinese non-government organization but sponsored by the government.

“The Chinese government actively set up schools both in higher education and K-12, with the institution to spread communism and undermine the United States. Knowing this, any response and solution should be bipartisan and a non-controversial issue. We must protect our kids and not allow a hostile foreign government to indoctrinate them,” Walters said.

Walters also said Tulsa Public Schools has a partnership with Confucius Classroom. One TPS campus, Booker T. Washington High School, uses the program.

He further called for Congress to pass a law banning schools from accepting money from and entering into data sharing agreements with “hostile foreign governments.” TPS officials deny receiving money from the Chinese government.

The Oklahoma State Board of Education recently passed a measure to require school districts to report any money they accept from foreign governments.

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Hannah France started her work in public radio at KBIA while studying journalism at the University of Missouri. While there, she helped develop and produce a weekly community call-in show, for which she and her colleagues won a Gracie Award. Hannah takes interest in a wide variety of news topics, which serves her well as a reporter and producer for KGOU.
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