Michigan has joined four other states and Washington D-C to challenge how the U-S Department of Education is allocating money for schools. The funds come from the CARES Act to assist schools with their COVID-19 responses.
Attorney General Dana Nessel says the U-S Department of Education is shortchanging public schools in Michigan. She says that’s because public schools are forced to split CARES Act assistance with private schools – many of them located in affluent areas.
“And that’s why we cannot and will not sit on the sidelines while critical funding specifically allocated based on low-income status to be re-allocated by counting students who have privileges and resources already available to them,” said Nessel.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer says the department and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos have put their own spin on the law.
“Under their new rule, private schools in affluent districts may receive services that Congress intended for disadvantaged students.” Whitmer said. “This isn’t how it should work. This is a virus that has had a disproportionate impact on poorer communities and communities of color.”
The Great Lakes Education Project supports the rule. The organization says COVID-19 has affected public and private schools.