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On Friday, September 25th, the U.S. Department of Education announced that it would not appeal the federal district court’s order in NAACP, et al. v. DeVos, et al., overturning the Department’s regulation for allocating CARES Act COVID-19 relief funds to provide equitable services to students and teachers in private schools.  The regulation required school districts to allocate funds for this purpose based on the proportion of all students residing in the district that are in private schools, even though...

Dear Colleagues,

Like many, I mourn the murder of George Floyd.  But I am also frustrated by the current pattern of repeating the conversations we have had for years about police abuse of their powers with impunity.  It is time for action: we know the problems and we know the solutions, at least enough to get us started and have an immediate impact.  The issue is whether we have the WILL to take the necessary actions to solve the problems.

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 The U.S. Department of Education has issued guidance on how local educational agencies (LEAs, typically school districts) are supposed to use CARES Act COVID-19 relief funds to provide equitable services to students and teachers in private schools.  The guidance instructs LEAs to allocate funds for this purpose based on the proportion of all students residing in the district that are in private schools, even though the CARES Act itself clearly provides that the amount of funds should be based only on the proportion of low-income students in the district...

On March 28, 2020, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (Public Law 116-136). The CARES Act contains several significant funding provisions for education, primarily embodied in the “Education Stabilization Fund” (Sections 18001-18008 of the Act). CLE has provided analysis of the elementary and secondary education funding in the CARES Act. Of particular note, CLE discusses State and local requirements (from the General Education Provisions Act) for participatory planning and operation, equity, sharing of effective practices, and monitoring. This...

CLE is closely monitoring federal guidance and submitted comments on pending legislation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic's effects on students generally, and in particular on low-income students, racial and ethnic minorities, English learners, and students with disabilities. CLE's comments address issues with the open-ended provisions of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (as originally drafted) that provide the Secretary of Education with nearly unlimited unilateral authority to waive almost any of the provisions of three major laws – the Elementary and...

On December 10, 2018, CLE submitted comments to the Department of Homeland Security concerning DHS Docket No. USCIS 2010-0012; RIN 1615-AA22 Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds ("Public Charge Rule"). CLE opposed the Public Charge Rule because it would jeopardize the ability of students in immigrant families, both legal and those without documents, to succeed in school. In particular, CLE raised concerns that if the proposed regulation was finalized, (1) more students would arrive to school hungry and schools will have difficulty maintaining their school-wide lunch programs; (2) fewer...

In July 2019, CLE submitted comments to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s (the “Department”) 603 C.M.R. § 4.00: Vocational Technical Education Regulations – Including May 7, 2019 Draft of Proposed Revisions for Discussion and Stakeholder Feedback (the “Department’s Draft Changes”). CLE's comments addressed a wide range of issues, including: equity in admissions, program quality, governance, and instructional staff, with the goal of ensuring that all students have access to high-quality career and technical education and are taught to the same challenging...

In June 2019, CLE received a grant from the Nord Family Foundation to expand its Access to Justice through Lay Advocacy Project.

The U.S. Department of Education recently released draft guidance (January 2019) for Title I's Supplement Not Supplant provisions. CLE filed extensive comments exploring positive proposed changes, major omissions, and in one case a major provision for which the guidance needs to be entirely rethought and rewritten in order to comply with, rather than undermine, important requirements, principles, and purposes of ESEA. ...

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