COLUMBUS—Yesterday, State Rep. Jessica E. Miranda (D-Forest Park) 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.
“We must ensure these federal dollars get into the hands of those that need it the most. The role that school plays in the life of a child is irreplaceable, however, this emergency funding can help fill in learning gaps created by efforts to combat COVID-19. Ohio should follow the guidance issued by Congress so that we can guarantee every child in Ohio has an equal opportunity at success,” said Rep. Miranda.
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.