The following is from the Senate Judiciary Committee:
Republicans on Senate Judiciary Committee, led by Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), have expanded their ongoing probe into the federal government’s policing of school board meetings to include the Department of Education.
The broadening inquiry follows revelations of emails between National School Board Association (NSBA) officials that suggest a controversial association letter to President Biden was initiated by Education Secretary Miguel Cardona.
The NSBA’s September 29, 2021, letter to Biden called on the government to consider using the PATRIOT Act and other anti-terrorism authorities against concerned parents at school board meetings.
Days later, Attorney General Merrick Garland issued a memo mobilizing federal law enforcement to track parents who express opposition at school board meetings. Though the NSBA has since disavowed the letter, the Department’s guidance remains unchanged.
The recently released emails suggest the NSBA’s letter was prompted by a request from Secretary Cardona.
In separate letters to the respective agencies, the committee lawmakers are seeking details on any coordination between and within the Education Department and Justice Department regarding the NSBA letter and other efforts to crack down on dissent among parents at school board meetings.