09.25.20

Chairman Scott Statement on Education Department Finally Agreeing to Comply with the CARES Act

WASHINGTON – Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) released the following statement after the Department of Education said it would not appeal three federal court rulings that found its formula for distributing CARES Act emergency education aid violated the law. 

“For more than four months, the Department of Education ignored the clear text of CARES Act in an attempt to unlawfully divert funding away from low-income students in public schools. As a result, the Department forced cash-strapped school districts to hold valuable funding in escrow rather than using it to support their students. While I am pleased that the Department has finally agreed to comply with the law, I am profoundly frustrated that it took several months and three federal court rulings for Secretary DeVos to simply implement the CARES Act as it was written.

“In the midst of an unprecedented crisis, schools need clear and responsible leadership from the federal government. Instead, the Trump administration pursued a political agenda that has done serious harm to the students, parents, and educators it is supposed to serve. 

“Today’s announcement will allow school districts to use this money as it was intended. I will continue pushing for more federal funding to help schools safely reopen their doors as soon as possible.”

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On September 10, the House of Representatives filed an amicus brief in the case of Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates, Inc. v. Betsy DeVos, opposing the Department of Education’s illegal attempt to divert CARES Act money from public schools to private schools. 

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

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