WATCH: Congressman Andy Levin Calls DeVos School Choice Rule “Segregation in Our Time” for Macomb County

June 23, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Andy Levin (MI-09), Vice Chair of the Committee on Education and Labor, continues to call out Education Secretary DeVos’s rule to funnel COVID-19 relief funds designated for public schools – by a bipartisan, bicameral vote – to private schools. In his opening remarks and questioning in a virtual hearing, Rep. Levin explains how this move will further entrench inequity and systemic racism in our education system.

You can watch his remarks below:

 

Education and Labor Committee Levin Remarks

 

“President Trump and Secretary DeVos just last week claimed school choice is the ‘civil rights cause of our time,’ and that’s just honestly comical, but unsurprising. Because in Michigan, we know school choice causes segregation in our time.” Rep. Levin said. “We’re seeing the impacts of these policies right now in Michigan’s 9th district.”

Rep. Levin went on to explain the situation in Mt. Clemens School District, with a majority Black student body as white students opted for nearby, whiter schools, taking their funding with them. The school district has faced major budget deficits for the past two decades and struggles to rebuild school infrastructure that hasn't seen updates in more than 50 years. The diversion of emergency funds will further leave these students behind.

Former Secretary of Education John B. King, Jr., J.D. agreed, saying: “A majority of kids in the nation’s public schools today are kids of color. We have no future as a society if we don’t invest in their education. And in the short run, one of things that we have to do is make sure that we correct the misinterpretation of the CARES Act that is literally taking dollars that are intended for public schools and sending them to private schools.”

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