China is funding “Confucius Classrooms” — Chinese language and culture classes — across the U.S, reports AP. That’s raised controversy in Hacienda Heights, a middle-class California town that’s about one third Chinese-American.
. . . the Hacienda La Puente Unified School District is receiving $30,000 a year for language and culture programs at Cedarlane (middle) school, along with some 1,000 textbooks, CDs and other educational materials.
The city originally planned to accept an offer to have the Chinese government place a teaching assistant in Cedarlane and pay his or her salary, an overture that stoked strong resistance.
Opponents with signs saying “America, Not Confucius” want the district to abandon the program. Some worry about communist propaganda; others see Confucius as a religious figure. Perhaps some think it doesn’t make sense to teach Chinese at Cedarlane, which is 75 percent Hispanic, 16 percent Asian and 5 percent white.
China has funded 60 Confucius Classroom and university-level Confucius Institute programs in the U.S. The New York-based Asia Society plans to help set up another 80 over the next two years and an additional 45 are separately planned in North Carolina alone, AP reports.