Trump Threatens California Schools Over ‘1619 Project’

President Donald Trump has latched on to a new cultural lightning rod, less than two months before the November election. Over the weekend, the president said the US Department of Education would investigate the use of the “1619 Project” in California, threatening that schools “will not be funded!" if they’re found using the project in their curriculum.

The 1619 Project is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalistic series developed by the New York Times last year. It “aims to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of [the United States'] national narrative,” according to the New York Times’ website. Critics have called the 1619 Project inaccurate, sensationalist, and anti-Capitalist.

After the 1619 Project was published, the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting developed reading and lesson plans for use in American classrooms. It’s not clear how widespread use of the 1619 Project is in California schools, but the Pulitzer Center’s annual report says more than 3,500 classrooms employ its materials nationwide.