Kimball urges U.S. representatives to reject DeVos move on federal funding

KASB President Shannon Kimball is urging the Kansas members of the U.S House of Representatives to sign on to an effort to reject U.S. Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ attempt to boost funding to private schools in the allocation of emergency federal dollars. 

The federal CARES Act states that funds must be allocated to K-12 schools based on the number of low-income students enrolled in a school.  

In late April, DeVos released a “non-binding guidance” document that instructed school districts to allocate federal CARES Act funding to their local private schools based on the total number of students enrolled in the private school.  

Although the guidance is labeled “non-binding, it has caused confusion nationwide and has prompted some states to delay distribution of CARES Act money to local public-school districts. 

In a bipartisan Congressional effort, Reps. Pete Stauber (R-MN) and Seth Moulton (D-MA) are asking their colleagues in the U.S. House to sign on to a letter urging DeVos to revise the guidance document. Member signatures are due by close of business today, Monday, June 22. 

Kimball wrote on Saturday to Representatives Roger Marshall, Steve Watkins, Sharice Davids and Ron Estes urging them to sign on to the letter and oppose DeVos’ attempt to favor private schools in the distribution of CARES Act funding.  

“Favoring private schools over public ones at a time of fierce competition for state and local dollars in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic is simply unacceptable,” Kimball told the Members of Congress. “If districts follow the Department’s guidance, public schools will receive fewer dollars than intended by Congress while serving proportionally more low-income students.” 

The National School Boards Association, AASA-The Superintendents’ Association, NEA, the National PTA and other advocacy organizations also support the campaign to revise the guidance document.  

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