One of the country’s top STEM schools has reportedly received more than $1 million in funding from organizations affiliated with the Chinese Communist Party, according to sources.
Parents Defending Education, an organization dedicated to protecting the rights of parents, has conducted an investigation revealing that Thomas Jefferson High School in Fairfax County, Virginia, has received more than $1 million in donations from Chinese interests since 2014. The report has raised concerns over foreign influence on one of the country’s most prestigious schools.
It’s bad enough that Thomas Jefferson High School hid achievement awards from students.
Now, we find out a CCP military-affiliated institution has been influencing the Virginia school.
Every parent should be deeply troubled by this.
— Congressman Ben Cline (@RepBenCline) March 7, 2023
The school, which focuses on STEM education and is consistently ranked as one of the top high schools in the country, has received funding from three groups with ties to China: Shirble HK, Tsinghua University in Beijing and the Ameson Foundation through its “Thomas Jefferson Partnership Fund” (TJPF).
The TJPF’s campaign donor list, which included all gifts and pledges to the Campaign for TJ as of June 30, 2015, as well as donations to other funding priorities since the Campaign’s launch in 2013, was obtained by Parents Defending Education.
Parents Defending Education’s investigation revealed that the campaign received hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations from each of the three Chinese-linked groups. The organization further details the connections between these groups and Chinese interests.
According to Parents Defending Education, the Ameson Education and Cultural Exchange Foundation (Ameson) is “a non-profit, non-governmental organization headquartered in DC that is dedicated to promoting cultural exchange and educational cooperation between China and the rest of the world.”
According to reports, Sean Zhang, the founder and executive vice chairman of Ameson, has been linked to China’s United Front Work Department (UFWD). A 2018 staff research report by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission stated that the UFWD was created to “co-opt and neutralize” any opposition to the ruling Chinese Communist Party.
According to Parents Defending Education, Thomas Jefferson High School had a relationship with Tsinghua University High School in Beijing from 2013 to 2014. The organization also alleged that the Chinese high school had connections to the Chinese military.
Parents Defending Education president and founder, Nicole Neily, cited other confirmed cases of Chinese infiltration in American universities, such as the controversial “Confucius Institutes.” Critics of these institutes have expressed concerns about their role in industrial and military espionage.
Neily commented, “The scandal at Thomas Jefferson High School highlights the urgency of putting such controls in place at all levels of the American education system. Without doubt, similar problems are occurring in numerous other schools across the country, and it poses an acute threat to America’s national security.”