'Stark tilt': Federal scholarships biased against conservatives

 May 21, 2024

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

An audit has revealed a scholarship program handing out federal funds to students exhibits a bias against conservatives, and now members of Congress want an explanation from those who hand out the cash.

It involves the awards from the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation, set up some 50 years ago to give awards to students who "demonstrate outstanding potential for and who plan to pursue a career in public service."

The American Enterprise Institute reviewed the foundation and its work and then confirmed it found a "strong liberal bias at the taxpayer-funded foundation," according to a report by The Center Square posted at Just the News.

"While this role suggests these programs should include scholars who reflect a breadth of views, values, and interests, their participants instead display a stark ideological tilt," the AEI report declared.

It is foundation chief Terry Babcock-Lumish who now is expected to provide answers, and lawmakers have suggested they could revoke the appropriations for the scheme that now "favors liberally leaning students over conservatives by a ratio of 10 to 1."

A letter from members of Congress pointed out, "Between 2021 and 2023, the Truman Foundation selected 182 Truman winners. Yet, despite the Truman Foundation’s claims that it 'supports scholars from a wide range of perspectives, interests, and geographic areas,' just six recipients espoused interest in a cause traditionally considered conservative-leaning.

"Not a single winner professed interest in causes such as protecting the rights of the unborn or defending the Second Amendment. By contrast, the foundation selected at least 74 winners professing interest in a progressive cause," the letter charged.

The members, including Rep. Virginia Foxx of the Committee on Education and the Workforce, Rep. Robert Aderholt of the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Rep. Burgess Owens of the Subcommittee on Higher Education, said, "As a publicly funded award charged with preparing the civic leaders of tomorrow, the Truman Scholarship should, at a bare minimum, be reflective of the country’s breadth of values, viewpoints, and interests. The Truman Foundation requested approximately $3 million in appropriations for the upcoming fiscal year. However, if the Truman Scholarship functions as a career booster solely for students of a particular political persuasion, it should no longer be worthy of congressional support, taxpayer funding, or its exalted public image."

The letter insists that an explanation be provided on measures taken "to ensure the Truman Scholarship truly 'supports scholars from a wide range of perspectives,'" there is no discrimination against conservatives and what is being done to ensure an "ideologically diverse poll of nominees."

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