Lansing, Mich. (WLNS) On Tuesday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer alongside Attorney General Dana Nessel announced Michigan is joining five other states in a lawsuit against secretary of education, Betsy DeVos and the U.S department of education.
The lawsuit stems from DeVos’s plan to allocate money from the CARES act, which is a federal emergency relief fund, meant to help schools get the resources they need to educate during the global pandemic.
Nessel and Whitmer claim DeVos’s plan will take money away from title one schools, or schools with low-income students, and give it to private and affluent public schools.
“Now unfortunately this most recent action by secretary DeVos is really just another example in a long history of an administration that uses any and every opportunity available to tip the scale in favorite of private schools at the great expense of our public schools,” says Nessel.
State superintendent of Schools, Michael Rice says under the CARES act, non-public schools would get $5.1M and DeVos’s plan raises that budget to over $21M.
During the press conference on Tuesday, Nessel says Detroit and Grand Rapids could lose $2.6M in funding, and Flint could lose $1.4M.
“Schools in these areas deserve a government that will support them throughout this crisis the DeVos rules strips dollars away from schools in need of that critical funding, she doesn’t share our priorities of protecting and improving public education and that’s why this action today is necessary,” says Whitmer.
Under the CARES act, Michigan will receive $390M. Whitmer says a big chunk of that money will go towards making sure all kids have a fair shot at learning by purchasing laptops, hot spots, and personal protection equipment.
An official with the U.S. department of education sent a statement to 6 News saying,
“The Secretary has said many times, this pandemic affected all students, and the CARES Act requires that funding should be used to help all students.”
Michigan joins California, Wisconsin, New Mexico, Maine and the District of Columbia.