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Letter from U.S. Senators Whitehouse, Warren, Schatz, and Markey to Education Secretary DeVos

June 7, 2017
By Sheldon Whitehouse, Elizabeth Warren, Brian Schatz, Edward Markey

Have any staff members at the Department of Education had contact with individuals associated with the Heartland Institute on climate, science, or science education issues?

Edward Markey

BACKGROUND: From March to June 2017, The Heartland Institute distribted more than 300,000 copies of the 100-page book Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming to K-12 and college-level science teachers across America. This effort garnered a lot of media coverage -- and also got the attention of far-leftist U.S. Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Brian Schatz (D-HI), and Edward Markey (D-MA). 

Heartland President Joseph Bast has responded to the senators here.

An excerpt of the senators' letter to Secretary DeVos:

It is our sincere hope that neither White House Staff nor Department of Education officials have turned to the Heartland Institute on the issues of climate change and climate science, or had any roll (sic) in this mailing to educators. To address these concerns, we request that you provide responses to the following:

1) Have any staff members at the Department of Education had contact with individuals associated with the Heartland Institute on climate, science, or science education issues? If so, on what dates did these consultations occur and who did they involve?

2) If the answer to the previous questions is yes, please provide copies of all relevant correspondence between you and any Department of Education staff and representatives of the Heartland Institute.

3) Are you or any members of your staff award of discussions between White House staff members and individuals associated with the Heartland Institute? If so, what were the dates and topics of these conversations and who did they involve?

4) Are any informal resources currently provided through Department of Education (e.g. What Works Clearing House, Teaching Resources page., etc.) created in collaboration with, or reviewed by, anyone associated with the Heartland Institute?

We would appreciate the courtesy of a response not later than June 30, 2017.