The Biden administration is withholding funding for school hunting and archery programs, which critics say will negatively impact over 100,000 students. Schools across the nation that offer classes in archery and shooting sports are now being penalized under the Department of Education's interpretation of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA), which was enacted in June 2022 after mass shootings at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, and a school in Uvalde, Texas. The Biden administration confirmed to FOX News Digital in July that it was withholding key funds for elementary and secondary schools with hunting or archery programs in their curriculum based on the BSCA. The BSCA included an amendment to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), prohibiting the use of funds to provide any person with a dangerous weapon or "training in the use of a dangerous weapon." The bill's sponsors have clarified that this was included to prevent ESEA funding for school resource officer training, which was allocated in a separate provision. EXPERTS FEAR AMERICA FISHING INDUSTRY, BOATING AT RISK AS BIDEN PRIORITIZES CLIMATE, GREEN ENERGY Sean McLelland, executive director for the Outdoors Tomorrow Foundation (OTF), told FOX News Digital that 100,000+ students are at risk of losing programs this fall if grants stop for outdoor activities. OTF aims to get kids outside and away from technology through outdoor education and wildlife conservation efforts, which includes archery, shooting, fishing, camping, first aid, boater safety, hunter education and outdoor cooking. "The hunter education program, and it doesn't matter what state you're in, these are incredibly impactful programs that are specifically designed to improve students' lives and teach them about firearm safety," he said. "As far as the ESEA funds affecting archery programs, over a million students a year are going through this archery program all over the country." "The hunter ed program and the archery program have the same in-class safety record as high school chess," he added. "As you can imagine, these are very safe programs, and they teach lifelong outdoor skills." A bill to alter the ESEA change and clarify that the prohibition on the use of federal education funds for certain weapons does not apply to the use of such weapons for training in archery, hunting or other shooting, passed the House 424-1 Tuesday evening. "There is major legislation that is in the mix right now to help change and amend some of the language that would specifically help any of the conservation groups and groups that are pro archery and hunter ed[ucation] be able to use those funds to support schools," he said. McLelland said the current regulations and loss of funding will have an impact on the nation's youth because outdoor education teaches firearm safety, wildlife conservation and personal responsibility. He said the funding is especially necessary for the survival of programs at economically disadvantaged Title IX schools. "These amendments are so important, especially for the ESEA funding for Title IX schools, because here at Outdoors Tomorrow, the outdoors has no bias, it doesn't matter where you are socioeconomically," he said. "Kids from all walks of life need the opportunity to do archery, do hunter education, and be involved in programs that are going to help them improve their life with skills that they can learn for a lifetime." OTF's Outdoor Adventures curriculum, which is fully-accredited to be taught as a physical education, agricultural science or elective class in any K-12 school in the United States, is in 1,070 schools in 48 states serving 110,000 students annually. According to OTF, children reportedly spend about 4 to 7 minutes a day playing outside and over 7 hours a day in front of a screen. Research suggests that kids who play outside are happier and less anxious when compared to their peers who spend more time indoors. "Students not only have improved academic performance going through the wildlife conservation section, they also learn personal responsibility," McLelland said. "Concentration and discipline are all pieces that are so critical, especially from a lower socioeconomic standpoint, where kids may not ever get the chance to get off the concrete, so learning about wildlife conservation and learning about nature has a major improvement value on their life." MINING REGULATIONS PUSHED BY BIDEN EPA PUTTING INDUSTRY ON PRECIPICE OF ‘DISASTER,' EXECUTIVE SAYS Earlier this month, senators on both sides of the aisle sent a letter in opposition to the Biden administration's crackdown and argued that the Department of Education misinterpreted legislation regarding funding of school hunting education and archery programs nationwide. In July, Sens. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Thom Tillis, R-N.C., the two Republican sponsors of the BSCA, expressed concern in a letter that the Department of Education had misinterpreted the provision, which aimed to withhold education funds for programs training school resource officers, not to impact funding for hunting and archery classes. "Using the BSCA as a pretext to shift critical educational and enrichment resources away from archery and hunter education classes was never the intent of the law," Cornyn said. "The purpose of the Department is to meet students’ needs where they are and support the expansion of learning opportunities, not take them away." The Biden administration has repeatedly prioritized policies that critics argue are politicized environmental efforts that will only make conservation and recreational activities on public lands more difficult. "The intent is to limit access to critical funding," McLelland said. "Students that need these programs the most, they need programs that instill discipline and improve the academic performance in the classroom. I can tell you from personally being in our Outdoor Adventures class in classrooms all over the country, this is their favorite class, it is doing incredible things in their life." "We hope, first and foremost, that the access to funds and limiting funds doesn't continue to happen," he added. "Misinterpreting this type of legislation is so dangerous because it affects kids that really do need this program the most." OTF received a $100,000 grant from the International Order of T. Roosevelt (IOTR) to fund a partnership aimed at raising youth awareness and education about wildlife conservation. The IOTR, which is the lead organization in the fight against an "anti-hunting agenda," is working to pass constitutional resolutions to state constitutions across the country to secure the right to hunt and fish. TRUCKER WARNS BIDEN'S EPA REGULATIONS WOULD BE ‘CATASTROPHIC' FOR THE AMERICAN FOOD SUPPLY The administration also enacted a ban earlier this year prohibiting popular ammunition and tackle from being used on federal lands, based on rules that came down from the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which could make land unavailable for hunting, fishing and even hiking, according to conservationists. "Without the next generation of hunters, the conservation programs that our nation relies on to preserve wildlands and wildlife will be in peril," Luke Hilgemann, executive director for the International Order of T. Roosevelt (IOTR) said. "This is a direct attack by anti-hunting forces via their allies in the Biden Administration. The International Order of T. Roosevelt will explore every means possible to block this ridiculous overstep. We must protect our heritage for the next generation." For more Culture, Media, Education, Opinion, and channel coverage, visit foxnews.com/media
28 Eylül 2023 - 12:10
The Biden admin's latest attack on hunting and fishing in America puts programs for over 1M students at risk
The Biden administration is withholding funding for schools with hunting and archery programs, which critics argue is the latest attack on hunting, fishing and conservation.
28 Eylül 2023 - 12:10