In response to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruling in NAACP v. DeVos, which nullified the U.S. Department of Education’s Interim Final Rule on “equitable services” for private schools under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Anna Maria Chávez, Executive Director and CEO of the National School Boards Association (NSBA), issued the following statement:
“NSBA is pleased that the U.S. Department of Education withdrew its equitable services interim final rule following the association’s multiple efforts to prevent its implementation. In accordance with the argument outlined in NSBA’s legal brief filed on behalf of the NAACP, the U.S. District Court ruled that the department violated the clear language of the CARES act in issuing a rule that would have diverted a disproportionate share of emergency funds to private schools at the expense of disadvantaged public school students.
"In addition to filing an amicus brief, NSBA submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Education urging it to reverse its guidance that emergency funds be allocated pursuant to the total enrollment of all students rather than the existing federal formula. When the department codified the interim guidance as a rule in June, the association contacted leadership in both houses of Congress expressing strong concerns that the Department’s interim rule would have hurt the same students Congress sought to help.
"This decision arrives at a significant moment. The pandemic has created an unprecedented challenge for public schools as they work to meet the needs of their students while operating with limited resources. The federal government needs to support their efforts, not shift valuable taxpayer funds away from deserving students.
"NSBA—which represents state associations that serve more than 90,000 school board members, who govern more than 14,000 public school districts—will continue to call for significant federal emergency relief targeted to public schools to help during this unprecedented time and fight against privatization efforts. Public education is a civil right. We must support our public schools and the more than 50 million students who depend on them.”