Response to Questions by Virginia Secretary of Education
In response to questions by Virginia Secretary of Education Guidera about the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST) and the independent, non-profit TJHSST Partnership Fund, Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) provided the following letter.
The relationships that Secretary Guidera inquired about began nearly 10 years ago when the political environment was very different, and the last of those relationships expired in 2021. The last donation to the TJ Partnership Fund from any of these entities was in 2017, six years ago.
In the time period in which these relationships developed, it was not unusual for elite public schools, colleges, and universities in the U.S. to collaborate with Chinese government counterparts. Private sector partnerships with Chinese business interests were also quite common. There was more than $36.45 billion of foreign direct investment from China into the United States in 2017. As an indication of attitudes prevailing at the time, when the TJ Partnership Fund entered into the first of these relationships in 2014, U.S. State Department representatives were consulted and sent their congratulations.
The TJ Partnership Fund is an independent, non-profit entity. FCPS has recently taken steps to ensure that the Fund in the future will not accept or solicit donations from any foreign entity without the express consent of the division superintendent.
In FCPS, we value multicultural education and believe it fosters appreciation for diverse perspectives, and enriches learning experiences for all our students. This perspective helps each and every student to be successful in our global society as outlined in the FCPS Portrait of a Graduate.