States, school districts, principals and teachers are committed to serving all students who need supports in our schools no matter which school they attend, including through equitable participation of students in non-public schools in accordance with the current Title I law.
Unfortunately, actions and guidance from the U.S. Department of Education (ED) regarding equitable services for non-public schools under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act have undermined this principle and created enormous confusion and caused unnecessary delays in getting emergency education funds to schools. In passing the CARES Act, Congress sought to quickly provide federal support to those sectors most affected by the coronavirus pandemic. With at least 124,000 K-12 schools closed across the country, affecting more than 55 million students, America’s schools are in a precarious position and in desperate need of federal support to prevent educational hardships of historic proportions that would affect the country for decades to come.
We urge Congress to swiftly reinforce its intent pertaining to Section 18005(a) of the CARES Act by passing legislation rescinding the equitable services guidance, preempting any future notice from ED that is contrary to the legislation, and further clarifying the allocation requirements for equitable services for nonpublic schools consistent with Title I.
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