COLUMBUS—Yesterday, State Rep. Bride Rose Sweeney (D-Cleveland) and fellow Democratic lawmakers sent a letter to Ohio Department of Education Superintendent Paolo DeMaria urging that he follow the original intent of Congress when it passed the CARES Act to provide support and target relief to students who need it most. The request follows conflicting guidance from the U.S. Department of Education that states CARES Act funds should instead be distributed to all students regardless of their family’s income.


“K-12 CARES Act funds are limited, and they should be directed to students living in poverty,” said Rep. Sweeney. “Many impoverished students lack basic necessities such as reliable internet access that they need to go to school. We cannot afford to lessen the impact of federal relief on those who are most in need.”


The CARES Act utilizes the Title I formula to distribute funds. Title I specifically provides financial assistance to local educational agencies for children from low-income families to help ensure that all children meet challenging state academic standards.  


The letter explains that following the U.S. Department of Education’s guidance would weaken Ohio’s ability to address the needs of low-income children, children with disabilities, students experiencing homelessness and foster care youth.


Editor’s Note: Letter attached.


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