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Wisconsin joins motion to stop pandemic relief money from going to private schools

MADISON (WKOW) -- Wisconsin joined nine other states in filing for an injunction against the federal Department of Education over a perceived misallocation of pandemic relief funds.

The announcement came in a press release from the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) Monday.

An interim rule set by the Department of Education would, according to DOJ, allow private schools to request pandemic response money from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) leaving less for public schools.

Wisconsin public schools, DOJ claimed, could lose out on almost $4.2 million in CARES Act funding.

At issue is how the Department of Education determines funding is distributed. The Wisconsin Department of Justice press release says the CARES Act mandates funds be distributed by income level. The Department of Education by contrast, the press release says, wants to distribute money by population the schools serve.

The change would benefit private schools "with tuitions more akin to private colleges" because they will qualify for more money than they would have under an income-based rule.

California, Michigan, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia, as well as the cities of Chicago, Cleveland, New York, and the San Francisco Unified School District joined Wisconsin in the motion for an injunction.

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