ESSA Author Senator Alexander Splits from DeVos on COVID-19 Relief for Private Schools

ESSA Author Senator Alexander Splits from DeVos on COVID-19 Relief for Private Schools

May 21, 2020

Senator Lamar Alexander—the chairman of the U.S. Senate Education Committee and co-author of the Every Student Succeeds Act—“has a different interpretation than the head of the U.S. Department of Education of how much federal coronavirus aid should be available to private school students.” In her guidance for financial relief stemming from passage of the CARES Act, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos “said that school districts should distribute the relief money to support all private school students in their attendance areas, “ despite the fact that, typically, under Title I of ESSA, “only certain at-risk private school students are eligible for such money.” When asked about her guidance, Senator Alexander said, “I thought, and I think most of Congress thought, that money from the CARES Act would be distributed in the same way that Title I is distributed,” contradicting DOE guidance.