Michigan joining other states to sue Education Secretary Betsy DeVos over CARES Act funding guidelines

Empty classroom covid-19
Posted at 11:36 AM, Jul 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-07 14:37:09-04

(WXYZ) — Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced during a news conference Tuesday afternoon that Michigan is partnering with the state of California and four other states to challenge a rule put in place by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos that she says will cost Michigan’s public schools money made available under the CARES Act.

The lawsuit challenges guidance issued by DeVos that Nessel and Whitmer say violates the original language of the CARES Act and would send money meant for public education to private schools.

Officials say the new rule, issued by the Department of Education, actually puts forth a formula that would violate the CARES Act itself.

“It’s a flagrant violation of the plain language of the Act itself,” Nessel said.

The announcement was made during a news conference with Governor Gretchen Whitmer to address fall education in the state.

Whitmer said the supplemental budget recently enacted in the state contains millions in funding from the CARES Act for schools to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic during the upcoming school year.

This funding includes money for safety measures in Michigan’s schools, as well as funding to increase broadband internet access for students in areas of Michigan that do not have access to high-speed internet, or the equipment necessary to take advantage of it.

During the news conference, Whitmer said the DeVos rule would take funds meant for schools in need and allow them to be used in private schools in Michigan.

“The Devos plan will hurt those in low income communities,” Whitmer said.

View the full lawsuit below:

CARES Act K-12 Funds Complaint by WXYZ-TV Channel 7 Detroit on Scribd

Whitmer recently unveiled her MI Safe Schools Roadmap, which directs school districts to come up with distinct plans amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The more than 60-page document outlines safety protocols for schools to implement in each phase of the MI Safe Start Plan.

Districts will have to come up with a COVID-19 preparedness and response plan.

The roadmap offers guidelines for safety protocols, including using PPE, good hygiene, cleaning and disinfecting, spacing in classrooms, symptom screening, athletics, and more.

Additional Coronavirus information and resources:

Click here for a page with resources including a COVID-19 overview from the CDC, details on cases in Michigan, a timeline of Governor Gretchen Whitmer's orders since the outbreak, coronavirus' impact on Southeast Michigan, and links to more information from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the CDC and the WHO.

View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.

See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.

Visit our The Rebound Detroit, a place where we are working to help people impacted financially from the coronavirus. We have all the information on everything available to help you through this crisis and how to access it.