DeVos won’t appeal ruling over COVID-19 money to private schools

Published 12:45 p.m. ET Oct. 1, 2020 | Updated 12:51 p.m. ET Oct. 1, 2020


Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on July 8, 2020, in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Manuel Balce Ceneta/ AP)

WASHINGTON — U.S. education chief Betsy DeVos will not seek an appeal over a judge’s ruling denying her the ability to give federal coronavirus funds to private schools.

The CARES Act, Congress’ $3 trillion coronavirus relief plan, included over $13 billion intended for schools with low-income students.

DeVos, who has been Education Secretary since 2017, originally said she wanted the money to go to private schools based on enrollment, not the number of low-income students. This would’ve given private schools a much greater amount than originally intended.

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Attorneys general from several states, including Michigan, sued DeVos over the interpretation. A judge issued an injunction stopping the interpretation Aug. 26, arguing that Congress was clear in its intent for the funds to go to low-income districts.

“The statute’s quintessentially plain language, and the ‘surgical precision’ with which Congress incorporated Section 1117 into Section 18005(a), leave no room for any other reading,” Judge James Donato, of the U.S. District Court in Northern California, wrote in his ruling.

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