Congressman Jim Banks (R-IN) is vowing to investigate the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) if Republicans retake the majority in Congress after the midterm elections — scrutinizing the organization’s function in political advocacy and its 501(c)(3) status.
Breitbart News reported Wednesday on a national network of “Undercover Mothers” who are working together to expose and combat rampant political indoctrination in their children’s schools, declining academic standards, and opaque school governance and financial management — which they believe stems from the NAIS.
Speaking with Breitbart News Thursday, Rep. Banks, who sits on the House Committee on Education and Labor, said lawmakers have a “moral duty” to investigate the use of the academic accreditation association as a political tool of leftist ideologues, and to make sure it is “putting the interests of our kids first over the political interests of those who run our schools.”
“We have a moral duty to go after all of these institutions that have been co-opted by the left. They always have been, we have just become more aware of it because COVID has exposed just how far removed these schools, public and private, and their administrations are from parents, and how far removed from putting the interests of our kids first over the political interests of those who run our schools,” Banks told Breitbart News.
“This is all part of a large design by the left to take over these accrediting bodies, national associations, and use them as political tools, rather than what they were designed to do. Now that we are more aware, we have a moral duty to go after them, and when we get the majority back, we’ll be in a position of power to expose organizations like NAIS,” Banks continued.
The National School Board Association faced a crisis last fall, as Republicans in Congress helped expose an effort by the organization to label parents opposed to political indoctrination in schools as “domestic terrorists,” and to coordinate with the Department of Justice to involve the FBI in school board dust-ups.
The NSBA was forced to apologize for suggesting the Patriot Act be used against parents, and emails were revealed showing contact with the White House on the matter.
Following the ordeal, state involvement with the association collapsed and the board faced an exodus of a number of members. In November, 2021, Chip Slaven, the NSBA interim executive director at the time who wrote urging DOJ action against parents, was fired from his post.
The mothers who spoke out against the NAIS to Breitbart News had to have their identities concealed for fear of retribution against them and their children. NAIS member private schools across America are including provisions in enrollment contracts prohibiting them from “[voicing] strong disagreement” with school policy or curricula, under threat of expulsion. Multiple “Undercover Mothers” who spoke to Breitbart News have already been dismissed from school involvement, and one mother was forced to remove her children from the school they were attending or face expulsion, all for vocalizing their concerns over their kids’ education.
Banks remarked that when the political weaponization of national education associations is exposed, accountability is possible, recalling the experience of the NSBA.
“Take the National School Board Association, for example. When we helped expose the role that they played with the Biden administration to target parents who were speaking out, they paid a large price for that. States all over the country were dropping their membership with the National School Board Association, and the organization had to fire their interim CEO, who took them down this path of partnering with the, with the Biden DOJ to target parents. If we could do the same thing with organizations like NAIS and draw attention to their left-wing agenda, then I’ve got to believe that it could have the same effect,” Banks said.
NAIS did not respond when reached for comment by Breitbart News.
Banks called the renewed engagement of parents in their children’s education, as a result of schools’ hard-left turn, the waking of a “sleeping giant” — which has also led to a demand for elected officials to do their part in defending the education system from politics.
“[The political weaponization of school curricula has] awakened a sleeping giant, and parents are waking up to the reality that we can’t just drop our kids off at school and expect that they’re getting a good education anymore. [Lawmakers] have to be more involved, and parents are expecting that their elected leaders are doing something about it at the local, state and federal level. So that’s a good thing. They’ve awakened a sleeping giant and parents are going to make their voice heard more than ever before,” Banks told Breitbart News.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has vowed to launch investigations into education on the national level, citing the incident with NSBA to Breitbart News in a January interview.
McCarthy also has proposed a “parents’ bill of rights,” which would guarantee parents’ involvement in shaping curricula and influencing the allocation of school finances.
“We recently rolled out a parents’ bill of rights. You look at what happened in Virginia, where the Democrats don’t believe the parents should have a say in their kids’ education, we say that’s wrong,” McCarthy told Breitbart News in January.
“We give you a parents’ bill of rights to guarantee you have a say, so you know what’s being taught and what’s being read and where your money’s being spent. We give you a parents’ bill of rights.”
Emma-Jo Morris is the Politics Editor at Breitbart News. Email her at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter.
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