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California among states filing suit over pandemic relief funding to schools

Attorneys general claim dispersing money to eligible private institutions based on population rather than income is antithetical to CARES Act

Mountain View High School's campus is empty due to the coronavirus. On July 6, state leaders announced a lawsuit against the Trump administration over funding for schools under the CARES Act. Photo by Sammy Dallal

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra on Tuesday announced a multistate lawsuit against President Donald Trump's administration, accusing U.S. Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos of preventing COVID-19 pandemic relief funding from being dispersed to K-12 public schools.

Becerra argued that DeVos flouted Congress' intent in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, which included $13.2 billion for K-12 schools across the country, about $1.5 billion of which was intended for California public schools.

The CARES Act required educational funding to be dispersed in accordance with Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, ensuring that schools with low-income students would not be passed over.

The lawsuit argues that the Department of Education's interim final rule mandating that private schools are eligible for pandemic relief funds based on the total population they serve rather than income is antithetical to the CARES Act's Title I requirement.

"Secretary DeVos has put forward a rule that exceeds her authority and that of the Department of Education," Becerra said during a Tuesday news conference announcing the lawsuit.

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"Ultimately, it's a shakedown of low-income schools across the country. ... Whether it's President Trump or Secretary DeVos, we won't stand by when the education of our children and the rule of law are under threat."

Becerra filed the lawsuit with the attorneys general of Michigan, Maine, New Mexico, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia. The suit is roughly the 85th time the state of California has taken the Trump administration to court.

California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond and Alameda County Office of Education Trustee Angela Norman joined Becerra in announcing the lawsuit as a show of support.

"We know that this is the right thing for California students," Thurmond said. "We know that the will of members of Congress and what they intended in the CARES Act must be followed."

Norman argued that the interim final rule will not only deprive low-income students in Alameda County from receiving special education services that cost several thousand dollars each year but also baseline services like school lunches and internet access for remote instruction.

"We need to ensure that our students ... get the critical support that they need in order to have equitable learning access," she said. "This is about our students and this is about our future."

Find comprehensive coverage on the Midpeninsula's response to the new coronavirus by Palo Alto Online, the Mountain View Voice and the Almanac here.

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California among states filing suit over pandemic relief funding to schools

Attorneys general claim dispersing money to eligible private institutions based on population rather than income is antithetical to CARES Act

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Uploaded: Tue, Jul 7, 2020, 3:57 pm

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra on Tuesday announced a multistate lawsuit against President Donald Trump's administration, accusing U.S. Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos of preventing COVID-19 pandemic relief funding from being dispersed to K-12 public schools.

Becerra argued that DeVos flouted Congress' intent in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, which included $13.2 billion for K-12 schools across the country, about $1.5 billion of which was intended for California public schools.

The CARES Act required educational funding to be dispersed in accordance with Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, ensuring that schools with low-income students would not be passed over.

The lawsuit argues that the Department of Education's interim final rule mandating that private schools are eligible for pandemic relief funds based on the total population they serve rather than income is antithetical to the CARES Act's Title I requirement.

"Secretary DeVos has put forward a rule that exceeds her authority and that of the Department of Education," Becerra said during a Tuesday news conference announcing the lawsuit.

"Ultimately, it's a shakedown of low-income schools across the country. ... Whether it's President Trump or Secretary DeVos, we won't stand by when the education of our children and the rule of law are under threat."

Becerra filed the lawsuit with the attorneys general of Michigan, Maine, New Mexico, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia. The suit is roughly the 85th time the state of California has taken the Trump administration to court.

California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond and Alameda County Office of Education Trustee Angela Norman joined Becerra in announcing the lawsuit as a show of support.

"We know that this is the right thing for California students," Thurmond said. "We know that the will of members of Congress and what they intended in the CARES Act must be followed."

Norman argued that the interim final rule will not only deprive low-income students in Alameda County from receiving special education services that cost several thousand dollars each year but also baseline services like school lunches and internet access for remote instruction.

"We need to ensure that our students ... get the critical support that they need in order to have equitable learning access," she said. "This is about our students and this is about our future."

Find comprehensive coverage on the Midpeninsula's response to the new coronavirus by Palo Alto Online, the Mountain View Voice and the Almanac here.

Comments

Standing Ovation
Old Mountain View
on Jul 8, 2020 at 9:11 am
Standing Ovation, Old Mountain View
on Jul 8, 2020 at 9:11 am
11 people like this

Mountain View elementary schools clearly don't need economic relief. Our School Board has gone on a spending spree with raises for all and a $1.2 million home loan for a superintendent already earning close to $300,000.

The School Board should write the Governor Newsom and protest this action immediately!


Gary
Sylvan Park
on Jul 8, 2020 at 11:21 am
Gary, Sylvan Park
on Jul 8, 2020 at 11:21 am
6 people like this

Trump and Pence see re-opening as essential to their re-election scheme. They do not care who (else) dies. They don't care about school children. Children are political pawns.


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