There’s still time to weigh in on a new rule from Education Secretary Betsy DeVos that is diverting COVID-19 relief funding from high-poverty public schools to private schools, contrary to congressional intent. As a lawsuit filed by the NAACP says, “The Rule is as immoral as it is illegal. In a moment of crisis—when public school districts are called upon to educate their students in unprecedented circumstances, to protect their students and staff from disease, and to feed families who have been plunged into poverty, all with decimated state and local revenues—it is unconscionable for [DeVos] to siphon away the CARES Act’s desperately needed funds for the benefit of more affluent private-school students.”
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