Scott, Clyburn Request Answers on South Carolina’s Misuse of CARES Act Education Funding

October 5, 2020
Press Release

As originally released by the Committee on Education & Labor

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Committee on Education and Labor Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) and Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis Chairman James E. Clyburn (SC-06) sent a letter to Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos expressing deep concern regarding South Carolina’s misuse of CARES Act education funds to develop a voucher program.

Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which established the Governor Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund to support public education, only three categories of entities are authorized to receive GEER Funds: Institutions of higher education, local educational agencies, and “education related entities.” The Department’s own guidance confirms that parents are ineligible recipients of GEER funds. 

However, as the Members note, the South Carolina Governor’s office has dedicated $32 million in GEER funds to develop the Safe Access to Flexible Education (SAFE) grants program. This program awards grants directly to parents and could be in direct violation of the CARES Act. 

“…We request that you review South Carolina’s SAFE grants program to determine if it complies with the relevant sections of the CARES Act,” the Members wrote. “Additionally, please provide all communication between any representative of the South Carolina Governor’s office and the Department of Education related to the development, implementation, or legality of South Carolina’s SAFE grant program.”

To read the full letter, click here.

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