Political Battle Over School CARES Money Ends Up in Court

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and  five other Attorneys General are challenging U.S. Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos in U.S. District Court over the allocation of CARES Act money for schools. The complaint claims that a rule issued by DeVos “would unfairly limit the ability of public schools to use federal funds provided under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.”

Private school funding is at the core of the differing interpretations between DeVos, a Republican appointee, and the Democratic Attorneys General. DeVos has directed funds to be allocated to all schools, regardless of perceived need, including private schools. Nessel and her colleagues contend that the money is to be spent based on Title I eligibility and that DeVos’ plan will rob the poorest schools of the money and send it to neighboring affluent private schools.

State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice joined in the outrage, saying that Devos “manufactured” formula will divert $16 million from public to nonpublic schools.

Reporting for WGRT – Jennie McClelland