Contact Congress: COVID-19 Emergency Aid for Religious and Independent Schools

CAPE Email Masthead

July 14, 2020

This is an important call to action for our community. Each spouse can voice his/her own opinion.

Dear Friends of Religious and Independent Schools:
Congress is working on another package of COVID-19 relief, which is expected to include aid for K-12 education.

Please use CAPE’s Legislative Action Center to let your representative and senators know that this aid package should include support for the students who are educated in America’s private schools.
Thank you for your swift attention to this matter.

Private Education:  Good for Students, Good for Families, Good for America

Michael Schuttloffel
Executive Director

phone: 844-883-CAPE
web: www.capenet.org 


Contact Congress: COVID-19 Emergency Aid for Religious and Independent Schools 1

Dear Friends of Religious and Independent Schools:

For the past several months, a battle has been raging about how states and school districts must share emergency CARES aid with nonprofit private schools. This aid can be used to help schools cope with the costs of COVID-19 through wholly or partially subsidized equitable services provided by their local districts.

So far, with the U.S. Department of Education on our side, we have been winning that battle. But it’s not over yet. It’s time for the final push.

The U.S. Department of Education issued guidance in April that would maximize the amount available for private schools and ensure that ALL students in participating private school students have access to services.

However, superintendents associations, teachers unions, and others have urged education leaders to ignore this “nonbinding” guidance and instead calculate private school shares in a way that relies only on at-risk (i.e. Title I, Part A) student counts—thereby excluding many private schools entirely and minimizing the amount available for others. Unfortunately, many leaders decided to follow this malicious and patently unfair advice.

This month, the U.S. Department of Education doubled down for fairness by issuing a legally binding rule requiring school districts to calculate private school shares fairly and equitably. The department correctly says that because CARES aid can be used by all public schools and students, irrespective of at-risk status, it should also be available for ALL nonprofit private school schools and students.

The rule does provide flexibility for districts who choose to use their own funding only for at-risk public school students. However, all other districts must calculate private school shares using the total enrollment of participating private schools.

Although the rule is already in effect, it is subject to change following 30 days of public comment. We expect opponents of school choice and private schools to inundate the department with negative comments. It is critical that the department hold the line it has drawn in the sand.

The department needs to hear from YOU about how this rule will help your schools and students. They need to know that holding the line here will get aid to schools that desperately need help and allow students to return this fall for a safe, successful school year in their private schools.  

Click here to leave a comment in support of the rule.

Thank you for your continued dedication to ensuring that ALL kids will have access to the support they need in the coming school year!

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