Public school districts have been told to reserve money, intended to help low-income children, for private schools.
Public schools have faced three distinct challenges since the coronavirus pandemic began—scrambling to make sure that low-income children don’t go hungry, teaching students remotely who lack internet access and bracing for dramatically smaller budgets.
Congress tried to help in the $2 trillion economic relief package known as the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security, or CARES Act, by designating $13.5 billion for public schools. The money was supposed to be distributed to school districts based on the number of low-income students they enroll.
A new directive from the U.S. Department of Education, however, tells districts to share far more of the money than expected with private and religious school students, even though fewer than 5% of those children are poor.
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