Washington, D.C. – Today, America First Legal, Parents Defending Education, and Fight for Schools and Families filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against the Department of Education and Secretary Miguel Cardona for their unlawful creation of the National Parents and Families Engagement Council. The Council, formed in violation of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), is a partisan, hand-selected committee designed to mask the Biden Administration’s devastatingly anti-child and anti-family actions, including the NSBA scandal and the CDC’s collusion with teachers’ unions to keep public schools closed.
The hand-selected members of the Council include:
- Eleven organizations whose highest-ranking executive donated to President Biden and other Democratic lawmakers.
- The National Parents Union, whose president defended Attorney General Garland’s DOJ memo on school boards.
- The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) which endorsed Secretary Cardona.
- The National Action Network, an organization run by Al Sharpton that promises “No Justice No Peace” and that hosted President Biden at its annual convention.
The Biden Council blatantly violates federal laws governing the formation of federal advisory committees. Such laws mandate viewpoint diversity, open and transparent public meetings and activities, Federal Register notice of its creation, and public oversight. This Council fails on all accounts.
The lawsuit asks the Court to:
- Declare that the Council is an advisory committee subject to FACA’s requirements;
- Declare that the Defendants violated FACA;
- Declare that the Council is not properly constituted and that any report or recommendation does not reflect the views of a lawfully constituted advisory committee;
- Enjoin the Defendants and the Council from meeting or conducting official business until their violations of FACA are remedied;
- Enjoin the Defendants and the Council from submitting, accepting, publishing, employing, or relying upon any report or recommendations produced by the Council for any official purpose until their violations of FACA are remedied; and,
- Vacate the establishment of the Council.
Quote from Gene Hamilton, Vice-President and General Counsel of America First Legal:
“The facts are clear: the Department of Education has skirted the law and created a partisan cheerleading squad to advance the Biden Administration’s radical agenda at the Department of Education. In so doing, they have violated the Federal Advisory Committee Act and the Administrative Procedure Act, and once again betrayed the trust of American parents who believe in their fundamental right to direct the upbringing and education of their children.”
Quote from Nicole Neily, President and Founder of Parents Defending Education:
“The creation of this rubber-stamp council shows that the Biden Administration is desperately trying to whitewash its flagrant disregard for American parents by pretending to finally listen to families’ concerns. Sadly, they’ve merely shown that they really only want to listen to the views of their political allies and not the vast majority of average parents – which has become a pattern and practice for this group of ideologically-motivated activists,” Nicole Neily said.
Quote from Ian Prior, Executive Director of Fight for Schools and Families:
“Over the past year, the Biden Administration weaponized the federal government against parents who were peacefully and passionately their rights to speak at school board meetings and to be involved in the education of their children. This new ‘parents council’ is nothing more than a public relations mirage, behind which are the same cabal of activist groups that created the very problems that parents have been working to fix at the local level. We’re not fooled and neither will be the parents that wake up every day ready to fight for their children,” Ian Prior said.
Read the lawsuit here.