DeVos Orders Public Schools To Give More COVID Relief To Private Schools
“Education Secretary Betsy DeVos issued a new rule Thursday advancing a policy requiring public schools to share more coronavirus relief funds with private schools than federal law currently mandates,” reported the Hill.
- This new rule “orders school districts to allocate their aid for private institutions based on their total number of private school students,” rather than the total number of low-income students at these private schools.
- Public school officials argue that this goes against the basis of fund-sharing under other federal rules, but “the Education Department maintains that coronavirus-related relief funds are separate from federal aid and should be used to benefit students at all schools.”
“The CARES Act is a special, pandemic-related appropriation to benefit all American students, teachers, and families impacted by coronavirus,” DeVos said in a press release. “There is nothing in the law Congress passed that would allow districts to discriminate against children and teachers based on private school attendance and employment.”
- The rule was issued “through a process that has historically been used in emergencies and grants the policies the power of law.”
- The Hill noted that the new rule “largely reflects similar guidance issued earlier this year regarding disbursement of coronavirus funds to private institutions with one key difference — the new rule allows public schools to use the regular low-income formula if their own aid relief is solely dedicated to low-income students in the district.”
The Education Department argues that “the new rule is necessary to help struggling private schools that have seen their revenue sources shrink during the pandemic.”