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ELC CALLS ON NJ TO JOIN STATES’ LAWSUIT TO STRIKE DOWN SECRETARY DEVOS’ ILLEGAL CARES ACT RULE

July 9, 2020

Education Law Center is calling on New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and Attorney General Gurbir Grewal to join a lawsuit filed earlier this week to block the Trump Administration’s attempt to reduce critically needed federal emergency funds from the state’s public schools. The lawsuit, Michigan, et al. v. DeVos, challenges a July 1 regulation imposed by the U.S. Department of Education that will inflate the amounts of funds diverted from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to private schools.

The rule forces New Jersey school districts, and those across the country, to calculate the funding they must allocate for private school students and teachers in ways that violate the clear language and intent of the CARES Act. In several letters to Governor Murphy and Attorney General Grewal, ELC has urged New Jersey to reject Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ prior directive to the state. The Secretary has now doubled down by codifying those directives in regulation despite widespread criticism that this will leave public schools without the resources needed to address the impacts of COVID-19 on their students.

“Our public school students need the Governor and Attorney General to stand up for them, especially given the dire need for resources to safely reopen New Jersey schools,” said David Sciarra, ELC Executive Director. “The Attorney General should join his colleagues from other states to send a clear message to Washington that New Jersey will fight Secretary DeVos’ personal privatization agenda.”

The states filing the lawsuit include Michigan, California, Maine, New Mexico, and Wisconsin, as well as Washington, D.C. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has heightened the essential role of New Jersey’s public schools for families and communities. To respond to Governor Murphy’s “Road Back” plan to reopen schools, districts need every available resource to ensure students can return to their classrooms safely and with sufficient staff, services and supports. 

 

Related Story:

ELC ASKS ATTORNEY GENERAL TO DIRECT NJDOE TO REJECT SECRETARY DEVOS’ ILLEGAL GUIDANCE ON CARES ACT FUNDS

 

Press Contact:

Sharon Krengel
Policy and Outreach Director
skrengel@edlawcenter.org
973-624-1815, x 24