June 2020 | Number 456
Department of Education to Elevate CARES Act Equitable Services Guidance into Legally Binding Rule
As described in the May edition of Outlook, emergency relief legislation passed by Congress in March 2020 to address the coronavirus pandemic included funds for K-12 education. Under the "CARES Act," private schools are eligible to receive equitable services in order to help maintain continuity in education and ensure a safe school environment for an eventual return to the classroom.

Guidance released by the US Department of Education clarified that Local Education Agencies (LEAs) should calculate equitable services for private schools based on the number of private school children attending participating schools. However, the chief education officers in several states have signaled their intention to disregard the guidance, indicating they would instead allocate the funds under a Title I formula that would severely restrict how many private school students would be able to benefit from the relief.

In states that have refused to follow the guidance, private schools have begun to file protests with state and federal education officials.

Writing in response to a letter from the Council of Chief State School Officers, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced that the Department of Education will not revise the guidance, but will instead issue a legally binding rule governing the allocation of funds.

That rule will be open to public comment. CAPE will provide additional information on how private school leaders can weigh in when it becomes available. In the meantime, this is an excellent time to be in touch with your State CAPE.
From Secretary DeVos' Letter:
"I would remind states and LEAs that their non-public school peers have also been overwhelmed by COVID-19. All students and teachers have had their learning disrupted. A growing list of non-public schools have announced they will not be able to re-open, and these school closures are concentrated in low-income and middle-class communities. I would encourage educators everywhere to be as concerned about those students and teachers as they are with those in public schools."
House-Passed Bill Excludes Private Schools
On May 15, the House of Representatives passed new coronovirus relief legislation that entirely excludes private school students from relief. The "HEROES Act" does not allow for equitable services for private schools and even goes so far as to reach back into the CARES Act passed in March to restrict private school participation in its education relief programs.

The Senate has not appeared inclined to take up the HEROES Act, however there is widespread expectation that Congress will act on a new round of coronavirus relief later this summer.
Private Schools Rise to the Occasion
The coronavirus pandemic and the accompanying shutdown have put extraordinary financial pressure on private schools, which are dependent on tuition and philanthropy to survive. This is an existential crisis for many private schools, as one can see all too clearly at this private school closure website set up by Neal McClusky at the Cato Institute.

That said, private schools' adaptability in the face of this unprecedented situation has been remarkable. Whether it is providing meals to students in the Navajo Nation, transitioning to distance learning in Michigan and New York, or making sure that students with special needs in Florida continue to have access to the therapies and services that they depend on, private schools nationwide are stepping up.

EdChoice's website has posted profiles of a variety private schools and their unique ways of responding to COVID-19, click here and scroll down to view.
CDC Releases New Guidance on Re-Opening Schools
In May, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released guidance offering recommendations for schools as they move towards reopening. The school guidance can be found on pages 42-45 of the document titled "CDC Activities and Initiatives Supporting the COVID-19 Response and the President’s Plan for Opening America Up Again."
Poll: 1 in 5 Teachers Unlikely to Return to Classroom in Fall
From USA Today :

"In an exclusive USA TODAY/Ipsos poll, 1 in 5 teachers say they are unlikely to go back to school if their classrooms reopen in the fall, a potential massive wave of resignations. Though most teachers report working more than usual, nearly two-thirds say they haven't been able to properly do their jobs in an educational system upended by the coronavirus.

"A separate poll of parents with at least one child in grades K-12 finds that 6 in 10 say they would be likely to pursue at-home learning options instead of sending back their children this fall. Nearly a third of parents, 30%, say they are 'very likely' to do that."
Class of 2020 US Presidential Scholars Named
Each year the Secretary of Education Secretary recognizes a select group of high school seniors for "their accomplishments in academics, the arts, and career and technical education fields." The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars selects scholars based on their "academic success, artistic and technical excellence, essays, school evaluations, and transcripts, as well as evidence of community service, leadership, and demonstrated commitment to high ideals."

The following private school students were recognized in 2020:

  • Anthony Jade Arya, Georgiana Bruce Kirby Preparatory School, Santa Cruz, California; Most Influential Teacher–Mr. Alex Koppel, Santa Cruz, California
  • Jack Selner Brustkern, Regis Jesuit High School, Aurora, Colorado; Most Influential Teacher–Mr. Joey Lechuga, Aurora, Colorado
  • Jessica Pei, Archmere Academy, Claymont, Delaware; Most Influential Teacher–Ms. Leah Lightcap, Claymont, Delaware

District of Columbia
  • William Gordon Nash, St. Albans School, Washington, District of Columbia; Most Influential Teacher–Mr. Robert M. Shurmer, Washington, District of Columbia
  • Bridget Rose Schippers, St. James Academy, Lenexa, Kansas; Most Influential Teacher–Mr. Sam Rockford, Lenexa, Kansas

  • Maria Liberty Fields, University Liggett School, Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan; Most Influential Teacher–Ms. Elizabeth Dann
  • Abigail G Wiest, Sacred Heart High School, Hattiesburg, Mississippi; Most Influential Teacher–Ms. Betsy McIntire, Hattiesburg, Mississippi
  • Jordan Elizabeth Tierney, Visitation Academy, St. Louis, Missouri; Most Influential Teacher–Ms. Mary Claire MacDonald, St. Louis, Missouri
  • Luke Partsch, Lourdes Central High School, Nebraska City, Nebraska; Most Influential Teacher–Lesley Gould, Nebraska City, Nebraska
  • Clarence Chinedu Ndubisi, The Meadows School, Las Vegas, Nevada; Most Influential Teacher–Mr. David Santo-Pietro, Las Vegas, Nevada
New Hampshire
  • Claire E. Reynolds, Bishop Guertin High School, Nashua, New Hampshire; Most Influential Teacher–Mr. Chris Howe, Nashua, New Hampshire
New Mexico
  • Zachary J. Auster, Albuquerque Academy, Albuquerque, New Mexico; Most Influential Teacher–Dr. John Knapp, Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Ryan Nicole Brady, Hathaway Brown School, Shaker Heights, Ohio; Most Influential Teacher–Mr. Kevin Purpura, Shaker Heights, Ohio
  • Aniv Ray, Columbus Academy, Gahanna, Ohio; Most Influential Teacher–Mr. David Feinberg, Gahanna, Ohio
  • Olivia Corinne Wenzel, Laurel School, Shaker Heights, Ohio; Most Influential Teacher–Ms. Martha Hardy, Shaker Heights, Ohio
  • Sukanya Bhattacharya, Heritage Hall Upper School, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Most Influential Teacher–Dr. Chris Hamel, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

  • Britton A Masback, The Catlin Gabel School, Portland, Oregon; Most Influential Teacher–Mr. Dave Whitson, Portland, Oregon
  • Neil Deshmukh, Moravian Academy, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania; Most Influential Teacher–Ms. JoAnne Daniels, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
  • Rhea Malhotra, Moravian Academy, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania; Most Influential Teacher–Dr. Chao Zhou, St. Louis, Missouri
Puerto Rico
  • Gabriela Cristina García Oruña, Academia Maria Reina, San Juan, Puerto Rico; Most Influential Teacher–Edwin Algarín, San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • Harold Peón Castro, Academia del Perpetuo Socorro, San Juan, Puerto Rico; Most Influential Teacher–Ms. Mari Vega, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Rhode Island
  • Ishita Rai, St Mary Academy-Bay View, Riverside, Rhode Island; Most Influential Teacher–Ms. Andrea Harms, Riverside, Rhode Island
  • Sohum Makarand Kulkarni, Parish Episcopal School, Dallas, Texas; Most Influential Teacher–Ms. Jenn Makins, Dallas, Texas
  • Ryan McCord, St. Mark's School of Texas, Dallas, Texas; Most Influential Teacher–Mr. Scott Hunt, Dallas, Texas
  • Emma Grace Sun, The Waterford School, Sandy, Utah; Most Influential Teacher–Ms. Megan Orton, Sandy, Utah
Green Ribbon Schools Announced
The Department of Education has also announced the list of 2020 Green Ribbon schools , which were selected for recognition based on their "commitment to healthy, safe, and sustainable learning environments."

The following private schools were recognized:

Woodside Priory School, Portola Valley

Aspen Academy, Greenwood Village

Ursuline Academy, Wilmington





Rhode Island

Wasatch Academy, Mount Pleasant


Putting Kids First...Or Not
On June 2, the National Coalition for Public Education sent a letter to Congress urging that private schools be excluded from COVID-19 emergency relief. The letter lays out the Coalition's support for the HEROES Act's treatment of private schools (see above), saying, "In addition to supporting language in this bill limiting funding for private schools, we also oppose the addition of any other provision that would funnel public dollars to private schools or create tax incentives for private school expenditures." After all, "This unprecedented pandemic should not be exploited to promote unaccountable, inequitable, and ineffective private school vouchers or otherwise divert public funding for private schools."

This is unfortunate. Private school advocates have been clear that all schools are hurting and deserving of assistance in this extraordinary emergency situation. It is a shame that instead of joining together for the sake of all of America's students, some apparently see in coronavirus emergency relief an opportunity to get a leg up on the competition...or perhaps even the opportunity to drive it out of business altogether.

The students and teachers at private schools deserve better than to be excluded from the concern of their elected officials, especially when considering that private school parents are taxpayers too. Now may be a good time for you, dear reader, to remind your representative and senators of that fact.
Private Education: Good for Students, Good for Families, Good for America
CAPE member organizations:

Agudath Israel of America

American Montessori Society

Association Montessori

Association of Christian Schools

Association of Christian
Teachers and Schools

Association of Waldorf
Schools of N.A.

Christian Schools International

Council of Islamic Schools
in North America
Council on Educational Standards
and Accountability

Evangelical Lutheran Church
in America

Friends Council on Education

Islamic Schools League of America

Jesuit Schools Network

Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod

National Association of
Episcopal Schools

National Association of
Independent Schools
National Catholic
Educational Association

National Christian School

Office for Lasallian Education
Christian Brothers Conference

Oral Roberts University
Educational Fellowship

Seventh-day Adventist
Board of Education

United States Conference of
Catholic Bishops

Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran
Synod Schools
Affiliated State Organizations a coalition of national associations serving private schools K-12

Executive Director:
Michael Schuttloffel

Outlook is published monthly (September to June) by CAPE.
ISSN 0271-145

1300 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20004
Tel: 844-883-CAPE

Michael Schuttloffel
Executive Director
Phone: 844-883-CAPE