Stacy M. Brown, L.A. Focus Newspaper
The coronavirus pandemic has focused the nation’s attention on the essential role public schools play in families and communities’ lives.
The NAACP said it’s also exposed severe racial inequalities that continue to plague the country’s education system and disadvantaged students of color.Rather than addressing those problems, NAACP President Derrick Johnson declared that U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos “exploited the pandemic to promote her personal agenda of funneling taxpayer dollars to private schools and taking resources away from the schools and the students who need it most.”
“We simply can’t let this happen. So, we’re taking her to court,” Johnson announced.
The NAACP formally filed a lawsuit in federal court in Washington, D.C., accusing DeVos of illegally changing the rules for allocating $13.2 billion in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) money to benefit wealthy private k-12 schools.
“Recently, Secretary DeVos issued regulations that would force public school districts to divert federal emergency relief funds from public schools and send them to private schools. By one estimate, over $1 billion would be lost to private schools under the rule,” Johnson declared.“So, the NAACP filed a lawsuit along with public school families and school districts across the country, challenging this unfair, unequal, and unjust rule. We’ll fight this as hard as it takes – for as long as it takes – to protect our students, schools, and communities.”