DeVos Orders Public Schools To Give More COVID Relief To Private Schools

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Megan Everts

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos issued a new rule to provide private schools with more coronavirus relief.

“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.”

Read more here.

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