Koch-tied group comes out against bans on teaching critical race theory in schools
(Screenshot via HBO)

The conservative push to ban critical race theory in schools is missing an influential voice, the Associated Press reports.

Leaders in the network founded by the billionaire Koch family say they oppose government bans of critical race theory and efforts to recall school board members who advocate for its teaching.

"Using government to ban ideas, even those we disagree with, is also counter to core American principles — the principles that help drive social progress," said Evan Feinberg, executive director of the Koch-affiliated Stand Together Foundation.

But some say the group's stance is hypocritical since they've spent years pouring money into conservative causes.

"They have this nice position they want to tout from a P.R. standpoint. But their money has gone to these groups that have the opposite effect on that agenda," said Lisa Graves, board president for the liberal watchdog group Center for Media and Democracy.

A letter published in The Chronicle of Higher Education back in May by the Charles Koch Foundation's vice president of philanthropy said Republicans' push to ban critical race theory stifles freedom of expression.

"Both learning and research require openness to new ideas and the ability to argue productively," Charlie Ruger wrote. "That requires standing against censorship."