Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) is defending the nation’s top-ranked public high school for taking hundreds of thousands of dollars from a Chinese military-linked organization to build a STEM program in China.
As Breitbart News reported, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJ), since 2014, has received over $250,000 from Tsinghua University High School (TUHS) in Beijing — a school closely tied to Tsinghua University, which the Pentagon considers to be a Chinese military university.
TJ is what is known as a “Governor’s School” in Virginia, which are elite, require an admissions process, and specialize in specific areas of learning.
It has received over $1 million from Chinese interests in exchange for help developing advanced science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and lab research programs for high school students in China.
“Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology is a world-renowned academic institution known for its innovative STEM education programming,” FCPS media relations manager Julie Moult told the Washington Examiner. “It is not unusual for elite public schools, colleges, and universities in the U.S. to benefit from donations and grants from various sources, including international sources.”
Parents Defending Education (PDE), which discovered the funding, sent letters Wednesday to Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) and Attorney General Jason Miyares (R) calling for an investigation into the Chinese government funding of TJ.
TJ is already under investigation by Miyares’s office for implementing a racialized admissions system.
The Chinese funds go through the Thomas Jefferson Partnership Fund (PF), which purports to be independent of the high school.
Despite that, the PF is operated out of the high school’s campus in Fairfax, exists to support the high school for renovations and other expenditures, and has a board including the school’s principal, assistant principal, faculty, and the head of the school’s parent-teacher association.