By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior Correspondent

The coronavirus pandemic has focused the nation’s attention on the essential role public schools play in families and communities’ lives.

The NAACP said it’s also exposed severe racial inequalities that continue to plague the country’s education system and disadvantaged students of color.

Rather than addressing those problems, NAACP President Derrick Johnson declared that U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos “exploited the pandemic to promote her personal agenda of funneling taxpayer dollars to private schools and taking resources away from the schools and the students who need it most.”

“We simply can’t let this happen. So, we’re taking her to court,” Johnson announced.

The NAACP formally filed a lawsuit in federal court in Washington, D.C., accusing DeVos of illegally changing the rules for allocating $13.2 billion in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) money to benefit wealthy private k-12 schools.

“Recently, Secretary DeVos issued regulations that would force public school districts to divert federal emergency relief funds from public schools and send them to private schools. By one estimate, over $1 billion would be lost to private schools under the rule,” Johnson declared.

“So, the NAACP filed a lawsuit along with public school families and school districts across the country, challenging this unfair, unequal, and unjust rule. We’ll fight this as hard as it takes – for as long as it takes – to protect our students, schools, and communities.”

The NAACP’s lawsuit suggests that the CARES Act, which was signed by President Donald Trump earlier this year, says explicitly that local school departments are to distribute the fund based on the number of Title I, or low-wealth students, in a particular school.

Congress allowed CARES funds to go to institutions that depend on tuition and donations because lawmakers said they recognized that some students from low-income families attend private schools.

The lawsuit claims the share going to private schools should have its basis on the number of Title I students attending those schools.

DeVos did not follow that rule, the NAACP contends, spelling out that hundreds of millions of dollars in CARES Act funds would immediately divert from public schools to affluent private schools.

The controversial education secretary reportedly holds a different interpretation of how local school districts should distribute the money.

Her interim final rule allows sharing the money equally with private schools based on the number of students in those schools, regardless of how many are Title I students.

“The Rule is as immoral as it is illegal,” NAACP lawyers argue.

The NAACP filed the lawsuit on behalf of a group of parents and their children, who are enrolled in economically disadvantaged public schools. The Pasadena, California, Unified School District, and Stamford, Connecticut, School District, joined the NAACP in the lawsuit asking for an injunction to prevent DeVos from immediately instituting her change to the rule.

“In this moment of crushing need for America’s public schools, the Rule directs public school districts to divert desperately needed CARES Act 1 funds to affluent students in private schools or face unlawful limitations on the way that those funds can be spent – both in direct contravention of the Act,” the lawsuit reads. “The Rule harms American children and subverts the will of Congress; it cannot stand.”

If allowed to proceed, the DeVos’ rule would change public schools, including some in which “80, 90 and 99 percent” of the students are from low-income families.

“She’s trying to increase allocation disproportionately for private schools over public schools in the midst of the debate over whether or not schools should reopen. It’s horrific what she’s doing,” Johnson told ABC News. “What will happen is you further take money away from children who are financially in need to benefit high-wealth children.”

October 16, 2023, HOUSTON, TX – Congressional Candidate Amanda Edwards has raised over $1 million in less than 4 months, a substantial sum that helps bolster the frontrunner status of the former At-Large Houston City Council Member in her bid for U.S. Congress. Edwards raised over $433,000 in Q3 of 2023. This strong Q3 report expands on a successful Q2 where Edwards announced just 11 days after declaring her candidacy that she had raised over $600,000. With over $829,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the September 30th financial reporting period, Edwards proves again that she is the clear frontrunner in the race. “I am beyond grateful for the strong outpouring of support that will help me to win this race and serve the incredible people of the 18th Congressional District,” said Edwards. “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s trajectory, and we need to send servant leaders to Congress who can deliver the results the community deserves. The strong support from our supporters will help us to cultivate an 18th Congressional District where everyone in it can thrive.” Edwards said. “Amanda understands the challenges that the hard-working folks of the 18th Congressional District face because she has never lost sight of who she is or where she comes from; she was born and raised right here in the 18th Congressional District of Houston,” said Kathryn McNiel, spokesperson for Edwards’ campaign. Edwards has been endorsed by Higher Heights PAC, Collective PAC, Krimson PAC, and the Brady PAC. She has also been supported by Beto O’Rourke, among many others. About Amanda: Amanda is a native Houstonian, attorney and former At-Large Houston City Council Member. Amanda is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. Edwards earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Edwards practiced law at Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP before entering public service. Edwards is a life-long member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Acres Homes. For more information, please visit

As September 13th rolls around, we extend our warmest birthday wishes to the creative powerhouse, Tyler Perry, a man whose indomitable spirit and groundbreaking work have left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. With his multifaceted talents as an actor, playwright, screenwriter, producer, and director, Tyler Perry has not only entertained but also inspired audiences worldwide, particularly within the African-American community, where his influence and role have been nothing short of powerful. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1969, Tyler Perry’s journey to stardom was a path riddled with adversity. Raised in a turbulent household, he found refuge in writing, using it as a therapeutic outlet. This period of introspection gave rise to one of his most iconic creations, Madea, a vivacious, no-nonsense grandmother who would later become a beloved figure in Perry’s works, offering a unique blend of humor and profound life lessons. Despite facing numerous challenges, including rejection and financial struggles, Perry’s determination and unwavering belief in his abilities propelled him forward. In 1992, he staged his first play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” which, although met with limited success, was a pivotal moment in his career. Unfazed by initial setbacks, Perry continued to hone his craft, and by 1998, he had successfully produced a string of stage plays that showcased his storytelling prowess.

Calling all teenage student-athletes! If you have dreams of playing college soccer and wish to represent an HBCU, the HBCU ID Camp is your golden opportunity. From 8 am to 5 pm on November 11-12, Houston Sports Park will transform into a hub for aspiring male and female soccer players. Coaches from HBCUs across the nation will be present to evaluate, scout, and offer valuable feedback. Moreover, they might even spot the next soccer prodigy to join their collegiate soccer programs. This camp is not just about honing your soccer skills but also a chance to connect with the HBCU soccer community. You’ll learn the ins and outs of what it takes to excel on the field and in the classroom, which is crucial for a college athlete. The HBCU ID Camp is an excellent platform to network with coaches, learn from experienced athletes, and take the first steps toward your college soccer journey. To secure your spot at this incredible event, don’t forget to register [here](insert registration link). Space is limited to 120 participants, so make sure to reserve your place before it’s too late. It’s time to turn your dreams of playing college soccer into a reality.

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