Once last attempt, before either DeVos or Trump would leave office, to privatize public education (k-12) went into this Executive Order issued December 28, 2020. Unlike the last time ESSER dollars came through, however, when districts had to split some of their dollars with private schools, these dollars are separate. Regardless, it’s still disheartening that private schools are provided access to $2.75 Billion when our public schools are starving for more funding and better resources. As a reminder, the previous ESSER dollars where districts were required to split with private schools was $13 Billion. Now an additional 21% of that amount is dedicated just for private school access in this E.O.
- Trump signs Executive Order on Vouchers – “Expanding Educational Opportunities through School Choice” https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/executive-order-expanding-educational-opportunity-school-choice/
“The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSA Act) provides $2.75 Billion for the Emergency Assistance for Non-Public Schools (EANS) program, which is part of the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund. Under the EANS program, the Dept. will award grants by formula to each Governor with an approved Certification and Agreement to provide services or assistance to eligible non-public schools to address the impact that the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has had, and continues to have, on non-public school students and teachers in the State. The deadlines for submission of the signed Certification and Agreement is Feb. 8, 2021.”
I’ve also provided a link to a post from Peter Greene, a freelance writer and contributor on education to: Forbes, Huffington Post, The National, Education Week and other publications. His blog Curmudgucation covers many aspects of public ed. http://curmudgucation.blogspot.com/2020/12/trump-issues-vouchers-via-executive.html
Greene points out, there is no instruction for oversight, and to quote Greene: “so if you want to hire your out-of-work highschool dropout brother-in-law as your child’s tutor, that’ll be fine.”
One final note, in case you missed it, DeVos submitted her resignation January 7th, to be effective January 8th 2021. The terrific amount of damage she managed to bring about our public education system is disgraceful. I am hopeful for better days to come for our public schools. https://www.washingtonpost.com/context/betsy-devos-resignation-letter/cfd93504-2353-4ac3-8e71-155446242dda/