Secretary DeVos Pens Letter to States that She Will Not Appeal Equitable Services Ruling
Last Friday, U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos issued a letter to chief state school officers announcing that she will not appeal a September 4 decision by the U.S. District Court ordering the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to vacate the Equitable Services Interim Final Rule (IFR).
The IFR, published in July regarding the distribution of funds to nonpublic schools under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, directed states to distribute funding based on enrollment rather than Title I eligibility.
CEC opposed the rule, writing that it “aims to siphon away funding intended for the public school system, disregarding the intent of the U.S. Congress under the CARES Act [is] in violation of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) regarding the provision of public funds to non-public schools."
Although the IFR can no longer be followed, states that have already implemented ED’s guidance to distribute funds will not need to take corrective action. Noted DeVos, “The Department will not take any action against States or local districts that followed the guidance and/or the IFR prior to notice of the court’s decision. Going forward, districts must calculate the minimal proportional share for CARES Act equitable services according to the formula provided.”