President Donald Trump appointed 18 members to an advisory commission tasked with returning patriotic education to America’s public schools.
The members, each of who will serve for two years, include prominent conservative figures Charlie Kirk, Ned Ryun, and Victor Davis Hanson.
Trump announced his intent to create the President’s Advisory 1776 Commission on Sept. 17. He signed an executive order establishing the commission on Nov. 2.
“As our nation approaches its 250th anniversary of glorious Independence, many of America’s schoolchildren are tragically being taught to hate our founding, hate our history, and hate our country,” White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement after the appointments were announced.
“This must stop. The 1776 Commission will help ensure that every American child learns that they live in the greatest and most exceptional nation in the history of the world. That is why it is absolutely vital to teach America’s young people all that is inspiring and unifying in our history.”
The order directs the agencies across the government to prioritize federal resources to promote patriotic education.
The commission is tasked with producing a report on “the core principles of the American founding” and advising the president and the U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission on plans to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the United States. The order also calls for the creation of a “Presidential 1776 Award” to recognize student knowledge about the American founding.
The commission will also advise federal agencies in connection with their efforts to provide patriotic education at “public national parks, battlefields, monuments, museums, installations, landmarks, cemeteries, and other places important to the American Revolution and the American founding.”
The Department of Education will fund the commission and provide administrative support. The members will serve without compensation except for travel expenses.
“What a great honor!” Kirk wrote on Twitter.
“Thank you [President Donald Trump] for appointing me to the 1776 Commission. It is a great privilege and I appreciate it,” Ryun wrote on Twitter.
The order also reinforces an existing rule which requires entities receiving federal funding to celebrate Constitution Day on Sept. 17.
“In the face of lies meant to divide us, demoralize us, and diminish us, we will show that the story of America unites us, inspires us, includes us all, and makes everyone free,” Trump said following the announcement of the commission.
The president appointed Larry Arnn of Arkansas to serve as the chair of the commission and Carol Swain of Tennessee to serve as the vice-chair. The other members are Brooke Rollins, Vincent Haley, Phil Bryant, Mike Gonzalez, John Gibbs, Scott McNealy, Gay Hart Gaines, Peter Kirsanow, Charles Kesler, Thomas Lindsay, Jerry Davis, Michael Farris, and Bob McEwen.