Betsy DeVos Is Robbing Poor Kids of Coronavirus Relief Funds - 2020-05-16
Public schools have faced three distinct challenges since the coronavirus pandemic began—scrambling to make sure that low-income children don't go hungry, teaching students remotely who lack internet access and bracing for dramatically smaller budgets.
Congress tried to help in the $2 trillion economic relief package known as the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security, or CARES Act, by designating $13.5 billion for public schools. The money was supposed to be distributed to school districts based on the number of low-income students they enroll. A new directive from the U.S. Department of Education, however, tells districts to share far more of the money than expected with private and religious school students, even though fewer than 5% of those children are poor.
I'm a scholar of federal education policy and history who has testified before a congressional commission and federal courts in disputes over federal funds. In my view, this new policy runs counter to what Congress has tried to achieve in public education for the past 50 years and it directly contradicts the CARES Act.