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DeVos won’t shift COVID relief funds to private schools after multiple losses in court

San Francisco Chronicle |

After rebuffs by three federal judges, U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Friday dropped her effort to give private schools a greater share of billions of dollars in Congress’ COVID-19 relief funds at the expense of public schools in low-income areas.

“We respect the rule of law and will enforce the law as the courts have opined,” DeVos said in a letter to chief state school officials nationwide.

That 1965 law provides federal funding for private schools in the same geographic areas as public schools receiving aid, based on how many low-income students the private schools enrolled.

But DeVos, arguing that the pandemic had affected all students, ordered private school aid from the CARES Act distributed on the basis of a school’s overall enrollment and not just on its total of low-income students. The effect would have been a reduction in aid to public schools in poor and minority areas.

Read DeVos’ letter to Chief State School Officer’s.