Senate Republicans and Democrats fired two letters late Tuesday against the Biden administration’s crackdown on school hunting education and archery programs across the country.
The letter, led by Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas), said the Department of Education had misunderstood the law governing funding for such programs and called on leaders of the Senate Appropriations Committee to restore the funds. Stated. The first letter to Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona was signed by nine Republicans and nine Democrats, and the second letter to the Appropriations Leadership was signed by six Republicans and eleven Democrats.
“Unfortunately, contrary to the intentions of Congress, the Department of Education misinterpreted language excluding certain educational activities from receiving federal funding,” Cornyn and 17 other lawmakers wrote to Cardona. Ta.
“This is alarming because these enrichment programs can play an important role in the lives of students,” they continued. “Archery is an inclusive extracurricular activity that empowers students of all backgrounds to learn and compete in the sport. It plays an important role in teaching responsibility.”
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Fox News Digital reported. In July, the Department of Education shared federal guidance with hunting education groups underscoring the defunding of hunting and archery programs in schools. The guidance explained that the administration is interpreting the Bipartisan Safe Areas Act (BSCA) of 2022 to mean that such programs can no longer receive taxpayer funding.
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In guidance first obtained by Fox News Digital, senior official Sarah Martínez said archery, hunter education, and conservation courses used “technically dangerous weapons” because of the use of “technically dangerous weapons”. Based on the education system, it writes, it “may not be fundable.” The Act (ESEA) is the primary source of federal assistance. primary and secondary education all over the country.
Advocates say many schools that offer such courses have already removed them from their curricula under federal guidance.
“We urge the Department to interpret this language as intended by Congress and encourage educational institutions to develop other educational enrichment programs in line with ESEA’s intent to support student achievement and student welfare.” We ask that you no longer seek funding sources,” the letter to Cardona continued. .
BSCA had two Republican sponsors, Cornyn and Tom Tillis, and RN.C., and two Democrats, Senators Chris Murphy and Kirsten Cinema, who sponsored the Democratic Party. Tillis and Cinema, along with Cornyn, signed a letter to Cardona on Tuesday.
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The BSCA bill was criticized as a “gun control” bill, but proponents of the bill, which they touted as an effort to promote “safer, more inclusive and positive” schools, won an overwhelming majority in Congress and Congress. was passed in Passed by President Biden’s signature June 2022 after shootings at a grocery market in Buffalo, New York, and a school in Uvalde, Texas.
The law included amendments to ESEA subsections listing prohibited uses of federal school funds. The amendment would bar ESEA funds from helping to provide dangerous weapons to people or to provide “training in the use of dangerous weapons,” but Cornyn said: It is said to have been included to block ESEA funding for training school resource officers.
“These courses can play an important role in teaching firearm safety, wildlife conservation and personal responsibility,” Cornyn and 16 colleagues told the Senate Appropriations Committee on Tuesday. I wrote it in a regular letter. “BSCA’s purpose is not to prevent students from participating in these types of opportunities.”
They said that in addition to archery and hunting programs, the Department of Education’s interpretation of the BSCA “could be used to prohibit schools from providing kitchen knives over 2 1/2 inches long in cooking classes.” There is,” he pointed out.
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Lawmakers urged the Appropriations Committee to include language rejecting the Department of Education’s interpretation of the BSCA in the Labor, Health and Welfare, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill for next fiscal year 2024.
The second letter was signed by Cornyn, Tillis, Cinema and Murphy, along with several other Republicans and Democrats.
The education ministry did not respond to a request for comment.