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Home Republicans examine Schooling Dept for allegedly utilizing COVID aid to fund important race idea

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EXCLUSIVE: Home Republicans are launching an investigation into the Division of Schooling for allegedly permitting COVID-19 aid funds to pay for “racially biased” and different far-left applications in public faculties.

Home Committee on Oversight and Reform rating member James Comer, R-Ky., and Schooling and Labor Committee rating member Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., led a sequence of letters signed by 30 GOP lawmakers and despatched Wednesday afternoon to Schooling Division Secretary Miguel Cardona and others.

“Republicans are investigating using COVID-19 aid {dollars} appropriated for virus mitigation and the protected reopening of faculties,” the lawmakers stated of their letter. “Primarily based on current reviews, the Division of Schooling is permitting Coronavirus Assist, Reduction, and Financial Safety (CARES) Act and associated COVID aid funds to pay for racially biased and different progressive leftist applications.”

They state that Congress allotted $13.2 billion within the CARES Act and $54.3 billion within the Coronavirus Response and Reduction Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 for Elementary and Secondary College Emergency Reduction (ESSER) funds, which had been supposed to allow faculties to reopen safely after the pandemic and assess studying loss.


Home Republicans examine Schooling Dept for allegedly utilizing COVID aid to fund important race idea

Miguel Cardona speaks after his nomination for training secretary on Dec. 23, 2020, in Wilmington, Delaware.
(Joshua Roberts/Getty Photos)

An extra $122 billion was offered below the American Rescue Plan, President Biden’s signature laws, for college reopening and to “tackle the influence of the coronavirus pandemic on the Nation’s college students.”

Nonetheless, Republican lawmakers say that as a substitute of utilizing ESSER funds to deal with studying loss, some states, together with California, New York and Illinois, are utilizing these funds to “push progressive left causes.”

The congressmen cite how California allegedly used ESSER funds for “LGBTQ+ cultural competency” trainings, New York used $9 billion to fund “fairness warriors” improvement, and Illinois used over $5 billion to make “fairness pushed investments.”

Residents of Loudoun County, Virginia, have helped make critical race theory part of the national conversation in 2021.

Residents of Loudoun County, Virginia, have helped make important race idea a part of the nationwide dialog in 2021.
(Reuters/Evelyn Hockstein)

The lawmakers additionally accuse a minimum of 10 different states of getting plans that embody a “proposal to make use of the ESSER funds to implement racially biased curriculum and applications primarily based on Important Race Idea.”

One Republican committee aide informed Fox Information Digital that regardless of there being no significant guardrails within the laws, using the funds for fairness and variety falls outdoors of the regulation’s supposed goal, which was to reopen faculties and make up for misplaced studying.

The COVID aid laws does embody a closing catchall provision permitting spending on “different actions essential to keep up the operation of a continuity of providers in native training companies,” which don’t point out any sure trainings or curriculum.

Republicans are demanding all paperwork and communications associated to using ESSER funds getting used towards important race idea, variety, fairness and inclusion and different racially biased trainings or applications, in line with the letter.

President Joe Biden speaks on the cancer moonshot initiative at the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum, Monday, Sept. 12, 2022, in Boston.

President Joe Biden speaks on the most cancers moonshot initiative on the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum, Monday, Sept. 12, 2022, in Boston.
(AP Picture/Josh Reynolds)

The letters had been despatched to Cardona, Schooling Division Inspector Common Sandra Bruce, New York State Division of Schooling Commissioner Betty Rosa, Illinois State Board of Schooling Superintendent Carmen Ayala, and California Division of Schooling Superintendent of Public Instruction and Director of Schooling Tony Thurmond.

A spokesperson for the Division of Schooling referred to as the investigation a “partisan political assault.”

“That is an absurd partisan political assault. COVID aid {dollars} had been used to soundly re-open faculties and are at the moment getting used to supply essential tutorial and psychological well being helps and tackle fairness points to assist college students and households most impacted by the pandemic,” stated the spokesperson.

“The Division of Schooling has inspired states to make use of ESSER funds for these functions, and states and faculties have completed so all throughout the nation, together with in these members’ districts, regardless of the very fact they voted in opposition to these important college re-opening and restoration funds.”


Maria Clayton, director of the communications division for the California Division of Schooling referred to as the investigation “factually inaccurate” and stated the company can be clarifying using the funds with the members of Congress on the letter.

“It’s factually inaccurate that federal funds had been used for that goal. No federal ESSER {dollars} had been spent in that manner,” she informed Fox Information Digital.

“I perceive that a majority of these paperwork might be lengthy and dense, however it is necessary to not misinterpret or misconstrue this data or to perpetuate misinterpretations,” Clayton continued. “What California has completed is to spend federal COVID-19 restoration funds on mitigation measures and methods to assist college students get well from the pandemic. We’ve got spent this cash to mitigate studying loss– with tutoring, after college and summer time programming– on psychological well being counselors and wellness applications for college students and on methods to maintain college students linked with tablets and Wi-Fi scorching spots.”

The New York State Division of Schooling didn’t instantly reply to Fox Information Digital’s requests for remark.

The Illinois Division of Schooling confirmed that it used COVID-19 aid cash for “fairness” initiatives and that it’s “troubling” that the Republicans are criticizing their motion.

“Sure, fairness drives all of our investments, particularly our investments of federal pandemic aid funds into high-impact tutoring, closing the digital divide, summer time and afterschool applications, and psychological well being group partnerships,” responded Jackie Matthews, government director of communications for the Illinois State Board of Schooling.

“Fairness means offering all faculties with the funding and helps they want for all college students to fulfill excessive expectations — which is a wierd and troubling factor to see anybody criticize,” she continued.”

Cardona has beforehand denied that important race idea is being taught in Ok-12 faculties.

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