East Greenbush, N.Y. - Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, co-led a letter alongside Education and the Workforce Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (NC-05) and Representative Richard Hudson (NC-09) to Education Secretary Miguel Cardona condemning the Department of Education’s decision to withhold Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) funds from hunting and archery education programs nationwide and requesting a reversal of their action.  

Recent reports indicate the Department of Education is blocking funding for hunting and archery education activities under ESEA, eliminating opportunities for millions of American students each year to learn safe and responsible firearm handling, lessons about the recreational shooting sports, and experience outdoor recreation. The withholding of authorized federal funding of these programs with longstanding bipartisan support flies in the face of congressional intent and will harm students and communities across the country.

In the letter, the lawmakers state,  

These scholastic programs are where millions of kids learn safe and responsible firearm handling and storage, and this egregious, irresponsible overreach by your Department will have far-reaching negative consequences. Eliminating this funding through executive “interpretation” of law flies in the face of congressional intent. Your actions to advance a radical Far-Left anti-gun agenda are not only an abuse of executive power but eliminate the opportunity for kids to learn important skills, safety, and life lessons.

“This is the most recent example of a series of Far Left pushes by the Biden Administration and Education Secretary Cardona in the name of their partisan political agenda. Despite long standing bipartisan congressional support, the Department of Education has decided to eliminate the opportunity for millions of American students to exercise their second amendment right by safely learning to use firearms and participate in recreational shooting sports,” stated Congresswoman Stefanik (NY-21). 

“President Biden has weaponized the Department of Education to defund certain activities that do not conform to his liberal bias. Hunting and archery programs give millions of students the opportunity to learn about the outdoors, the heritage of hunting, and how to handle a firearm or bow safely. These programs build stronger communities and for this administration to say otherwise just goes to show how out of touch it really is with the American people. This is a cheap attack on Americans’ Constitutional rights—specifically for responsible hunters and gun owners—ahead of next year’s election,” stated Education and the Workforce Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (NC-05).

“I’m proud to stand with Reps. Stefanik, Foxx and 63 others to call on Secretary Cardona and the Biden Admin to stop this war on sports shooting education immediately. These programs give our future conservationists and sportsmen and women new opportunities and passions, while teaching public safety, self-esteem, teamwork, and interpersonal skills,” stated Congressman Richard Hudson (NC-09).

Read the full letter here.