DOE Guidance on COVID-19 Relief for Private Schools Faces Growing Backlash

DOE Guidance on COVID-19 Relief for Private Schools Faces Growing Backlash

May 8, 2020

According to Education Week, guidance provided by the U.S. Department of Education “telling school districts to direct much more coronavirus aid than they expected to private school students has triggered intense opposition.” DOE has indicated that school districts must use COVID-19 relief funds “to provide ‘equitable services’ for all local private school students.” However, public school advocates argue that these funds should “follow what the Every Student Succeeds Act says and be set aside to provide services only for certain disadvantaged and at-risk students, like technology licenses and parent engagement.” While the DOE guidance is not law—or even a set of regulations—the disagreement over how funds should be allocated does set the stage for a long, drawn-out, and potentially legal fight between school districts and the federal agency.