Nessel sues US Dept of Ed over CARES funding for schools


Trump made his remarks hours after Education Secretary Betsy DeVos assailed plans by some local districts to offer in-person instruction only a few days a week and said schools must be "fully operational".

Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul said it would divert almost $4.2 million "away from taxpayer-funded public schools in our poorest school districts to private institutions - in violation of the requirements established by Congress, the Administrative Procedure Act, and the U.S. Constitution".

"Ultimately, it's not a matter of if schools need to open, it's a matter of how", DeVos told governors, The Associated Press reports.

DeVos' stance echoes how President Donald Trump feels about kids returning to schools.

The U.S. Department of Education is attempting to take pandemic relief funds away from K-12 public schools and divert the money to private schools, California and four other Democratic-led states argued in a lawsuit filed Tuesday against the Trump administration.

"We want to reopen the schools", Trump said.

Under the new rules, if districts use CARES money for all students, not just low-income students, they must pay for "equitable services" for private schools.

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A number of private schools, particularly those run by Catholic dioceses, "have been taking a big hit" from the coronavirus, he said, and are struggling to remain open.

The rule "creates a false choice where school districts must include private schools on the basis of their total population or be forced to jump through unnecessary hoops to do what Congress intended and make sure the funds get to schools that are hurting the most", Becerra said.

"The coronavirus did not discriminate based on the kind of schools MI kids attend, and neither did the governor's executive order shuttering every school building in the state", said executive director Beth DeShone. DeVos said she was disappointed in schools that "didn't figure out how to serve students or who just gave up and didn't try".

"It's clear that the greater risk to our society is to have these schools close", Redfield said.

Nessel's office said the U.S. Department of Education published an interim final rule on July 1 to "clarify" requirements for allocating CARES Act money to nonpublic schools. "The question is whether we care enough about our children to ALLOW them to go to school safely". He said the CDC encourages all schools to reopen with customized plans to minimize the spread of the coronavirus while giving students access to school services.

Rice said nonpublic schools in MI are entitled to $5.1 million under the relief law but would get $21.6 million under one of two options outlined under DeVos' policy. "Our behavior, our commitment to shared sacrifice - or our selfishness - will determine what happens this fall for kids".

The Trump administration has drawn on recent recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics, which says schools should aim to start the school year with students "physically present in school". It would prohibit districts from using federal aid on non-Title I designated schools where there are also many low-income students.