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Equitable Spending Between Public and Private Schools Under the CARES Act

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The CARES Act provides funding for educational districts with the instruction that "equitable spending" should occur in the same manner as with all Title I spending - public and private schools negotiate over terms and then private schools receive public funding to support services for disadvantaged children, whether parental training, additional special education services, or professional development. School systems must ensure that disadvantaged children attending either public or private schools receive the same benefits.

Education Week's article, Is Betsy DeVos Trying to Throw Private Schools a Lifeline Using Coronavirus Aid?, reports that the United States Department of Education recently released guidance on how school systems should consider CARES Act funding negotiations.

From the article: "This guidance, which amounts to the department's interpretation of the law, says that when a school district sets aside CARES Act money for equitable services, "All students and teachers in a non-public school are eligible to receive equitable services under the CARES Act programs. [...]

"What could that interpretation mean in practical terms? Because the guidance says all students can receive equitable services and not just the student groups specified in ESSA, it could direct a lot more pandemic relief money to services for private school students. More on the potential financial impact for schools in a bit."

The article explores guidance implications in depth. Read more, here.

The CARES Act blog is intended to provide information and is accurate and true to the best of the author's knowledge. The author is not a legal, medical or financial professional and the information presented should not be considered advice and is for reference only. Lehigh Valley Public Media and its employees claim no liability for any actions taken by readers based on the information provided here.