SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KRON) – California and several other states are suing the Trump Administration over coronavirus relief funds meant for schools across the country.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced Tuesday the state is suing the U.S. Department of Education and its secretary Betsy Devos.
The lawsuit claims the department is attempting to divert some pandemic relief funds meant for K-12 public schools to private schools.
“The Trump Administration has this bad habit of ripping off those most at need,” Becerra said.
Becerra says the CARES Act established $13.2 billion in relief to schools nationwide using title one funds which are earmarked for low income families.
But the lawsuit claims the Trump Administration set a new rule allowing school districts to receive money based on total student population, leading tens of millions of dollars away from public schools in the poorest districts to pricey private schools.
Becerra noting private schools have been eligible for funds under a different federal aid source, the paycheck protection program.
State officials warning this could cost California public schools $1.5 billion.
“It’s not that private schools are categorically ineligible for relief, it’s that Congress called for these funds to be distributed on the basis of need,” Becerra said.
The Department of Education didn’t comment on the specifics of the lawsuit but said the CARES Act requires funding to be used to help all students.
This latest lawsuit marking California’s 85th against the Trump Administration.
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