Scott Statement on Federal Court Blocking DeVos’ Equitable Services Rule

August 22, 2020
Press Release

As originally released by the Committee on Education & Labor

WASHINGTON, DC – Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) released the following statement after a federal court blocked an interim final rule issued by the Department of Education that redirects COVID-19 relief funding from high-poverty public schools toward services for students in private schools, regardless of their wealth.

“Last night, a federal judge affirmed the position of many Democrats and Republicans in finding that the Education Department is violating both the letter and spirit of the CARES Act in its handling of emergency education funding. Rather than implementing CARES Act as it was written, the Department unlawfully diverted funding intended to support low-income students in public schools toward students in private schools.

 “While this ruling is a positive step toward forcing the Department to comply with the law, it does not repair the harm the Department has already done to students, parents, and educators. The Department’s attempts to reinterpret the CARES Act to align with its agenda has already caused widespread confusion and costly delays for schools facing increasing pandemic-related expenses and massive budget shortfalls. As the court wrote in its decision, ‘every day that goes by in which educators are denied access to these funds creates unnecessary risk.’

“In midst of an unprecedented crisis, schools need the Department of Education to provide clear leadership.I once again implore the Department to abandon its unlawful equitable services rule and finally provide schools the clarity and resources they need to cope with this unprecedented crisis.”

To read Chairman Scott’s letters on the Department’s initial guidance and interim final rule, click here and here.

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