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Joint Comments from Civil Rights and Education Advocates on U.S. Department of Education Equitable Services Rules for CARES Act Funds

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 220 national organizations to promote and protect the civil and human rights of all persons in the United States, and 53 additional organizations (including All4Ed) submitted comments in response to the U.S. Department of Education’s (ED’s) interim final rule on CARES Act Programs; Equitable Services to Students and Teachers in Non-Public Schools.

We oppose this rule and particularly the scenario provided that would require school districts to divert more funds to private school students in the name of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act’s “equitable services” provision than is required under the law. It is vitally important that the students who were most marginalized before this public health crisis and are currently bearing the brunt of the crisis itself are at the center of any and all responses – especially with regard to the distribution of education stabilization funds received through the CARES Act, and any further federal aid for education. This interim final rule would, instead, divert needed funds from low-income students and run afoul of the law.

Read the full letter below.