The U.S. Department of Education is requesting comments on an interim final rule that is diverting COVID-19 relief funding from high-poverty public schools to private schools, contrary to congressional intent. “Make no mistake about it,” said NEA President Lily Eskelsen García. “DeVos continues to use the coronavirus pandemic and resulting economic crisis to push her extreme agenda to privatize public education.”
The CARES Act explicitly requires districts to provide private schools with services in the “same manner” as Title I, which uses the number of low-income students in each school to allocate funds. Under the new DeVos rule, districts may instead base allocations on the total private school population—a change that could rob under-resourced public schools of hundreds of millions of dollars. In Michigan, for example, private schools would get four times as much—$21.6 million instead of the $5.1 million worth of services the Title I funding formula would provide, according to the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.
Tell the Department of Education that students MUST receive their fair share of financial aid provided by the CARES Act