For Immediate Release
Sam Gerard, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-238-9088 ext. 105
(Washington, DC, March 20, 2020)—Today, the American Humanist Association (AHA) announced their opposition to a provision of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act introduced on Thursday that expands Secretary of Education Betsy Devos’s ability to waive existing policy statutes that protect students.
“The proposed expansion under the CARES Act would fracture the quality and secular nature of our education system and leave students vulnerable to having their rights violated,” AHA Executive Director Roy Speckhardt commented. “Secretary DeVos has constantly sought chances to funnel federal money away from our public education system and toward private religious or parochial schools. To attempt this power grab during a national crisis is shameful.”
The CARES Act gives DeVos broad and unprecedented powers over federal education policy to waive requirements related to assessments, accountability, allocation of funds, and reporting in a number of foundational education laws. The Department of Education already has the ability to provide waivers to states through the Every Student Succeeds Act.
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The American Humanist Association (AHA) works to protect the rights of humanists, atheists, and other nontheistic Americans. The AHA advances the ethical and life-affirming worldview of humanism, which—without beliefs in gods or other supernatural forces—encourages individuals to live informed and meaningful lives that aspire to the greater good of humanity.