Republican members of the U.S. House are demanding the Department of Education explain where it spent $263 billion during the pandemic.
Lawmakers, led by Reps. Virginia Foxx of North Carolina and James Comer of Kentucky, also want to know how the COVID-19 pandemic orders shutting down schools and isolating children behind laptop screens hurt them.
For the answers, the investigators want the federal department to turn over information, including all communications involving school reopenings with outside groups, including teachers’ unions, and more, such as spending records and those documents involving estimates of loss of learning.
The Washington Examiner explained the demands are delivered in a letter to Education Secretary Miguel Cardona.
“Study after study shows the learning losses caused by prolonged pandemic school closures are compounding and preventing students from achieving academic success,” they said. “Committee Republicans plan to ensure the department is doing everything in its power to ensure states and school districts properly target funds to remedy the acute learning losses brought on by prolonged pandemic school closures.”
And they point out that many times money allocated for COVID mitigation has gone unspent – or been used for completely unrelated items.
The Examiner explained it earlier reported “how school districts across the country had used their federal coronavirus relief funds for a wide range of expenses, including diversity and equity trainings for staff, online learning infrastructure, and, in the case of one school district, new artificial turf athletic fields.”
Comer told the Examiner that he blamed Biden’s “collusion” with “radical” labor leaders for teachers for the learning loss that occurred because of closed schools.
He said, “America’s students are suffering from acute learning loss, a mental health crisis, and untold consequences from the Democrats’ prolonged school closures. This crisis demands urgency but so-called emergency funds are not being used to help students who have suffered from school closures. We need Biden’s Department of Education to provide answers about why these funds are not being targeted to remedy learning losses.”
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