Chinese Groups Bankrolled U.S. High School in Exchange for Help Building Chinese STEM Program

Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology
Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJ), an elite public high school in Fairfax County, Virginia, has received over $1 million from Chinese interests in exchange for help developing similar schools in China.

TJ boasts advanced science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and lab research programs for high school students.

Since 2014, TJ 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.

The Thomas Jefferson Partnership Fund (PF) launched as a 501(c)(3) in 2013 in order to raise money for renovations through its “Campaign for TJ.”

Almost immediately — in the 2013-2014 school year — the PF established relationships with TUHS in order to “share best practices to assist them as they (TUHS) develop their own STEM models,” according to a newsletter obtained by Parents Defending Education (PDE).

“These relationships help to fulfill a long-term goal of the school, that of sharing TJ’s uniquely successful approach to teaching science and technology with other schools in order to expand educational opportunities for students, no matter where they reside,” it continues. “Chinese educators, concerned that their educational system’s emphasis on speed and memorization over discussion and debate may not produce tomorrow’s most successful students, are increasingly eager to adopt the best instructional models from abroad.”

By 2015, TUHS was established across from Tsinghua University and functioning on the TJ model.

A student takes notes during a Chinese class at Tsinghua University High School in Beijing, capital of China, June 1, 2020. (Xinhua/Shen Bohan via Getty Images)

Faculty and representatives from the new Chinese high school visited TJ for an “intensive introduction” to the model that “encompassed eight very full school days, exposing the Chinese educators to a broad cross-section of TJ faculty and staff” in which they were “overwhelmed with information.”

Likewise, TJ has received over $500,000 from Shirble Department Store Holdings China and over $250,000 from the Ameson Education and Cultural Exchange Foundation.

The Ameson Foundation, like TUHS, partnered with TJ “to assist Ameson as it embarks on launching its first STEM high school in China.”

Shirble, incorporated in the Cayman Islands, is “principally engaged in department store operations, property development and provision of property development consulting services in the People’s Republic of China.”

“For far too long, America has focused on the overt threats posed by the CCP – yet has failed to seriously examine the soft power dynamics at play on our soil,” PDE president Nicole Neily told Breitbart News. “Without a doubt, what is happening at TJ is taking place at many other schools across the country, and it is time for policymakers to act decisively to protect our country’s interests.”

Nichole Neily, President of Parents Defending Education (Nichole Neily/Federalist Society)

Nicole Neily, President of Parents Defending Education (Nicole Neily/Federalist Society)

While the “Campaign for TJ” concluded in 2017, a new Chinese delegation visited TJ in 2022.

“Many Americans learned about the Chinese Communist Party’s efforts to infiltrate America’s colleges and universities under the guise of the ‘Confucius Institute’ programs thanks to the hard work of Secretaries Betsy DeVos and Mike Pompeo,” Neily said. “Frighteningly, however, the same problems are taking place in K-12 schools – yet there are zero transparency requirements for primary and secondary schools to disclose foreign funding.”

Breccan F. Thies is a reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @BreccanFThies.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.