WASHINGTON—House Committee on Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.), Committee on Education and the Workforce Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.), and Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis Chairman Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) are continuing their investigation into the misuse of pandemic-era education funds intended to address students’ historic learning losses. In multiple instances, the lawmakers have identified these funds instead being used on left-wing agendas. In a letter to Department of Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, the Chairs are calling for all documents, communications, and policies guiding the Department’s administration COVID-19 education funds.
“The Committee on Oversight and Accountability, Committee on Education and the Workforce, and Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic continue to investigate the misuse of COVID-19 relief funds intended to help schools safely reopen, mitigate the spread of COVID-19, and address catastrophic learning loss. The Committees are giving priority to oversight of COVID-19 relief programs to determine the Department of Education’s role in monitoring and guiding states in their use of billions in Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funds. It is important for the American people and their elected lawmakers to understand how the Department administers funds intended to assist students during the pandemic and the extent to which any funds may have been misused by State Educational Agencies or Local Educational Agencies for unrelated purposes,” wrote the lawmakers.
In 2020, Congress appropriated $67.5 billion to help states address the impact of COVID-19 on elementary and secondary schools across the United States. Under the American Rescue Plan Act, Democrats provided yet another $122 billion in COVID-19 education funds. Several states, including California, Illinois, Massachusetts, and New York, have used these education funds on radical, left-wing agendas, including, in one case, encouraging the use of a racial slur by a principal. Meanwhile, American students continue to suffer from historic learning losses due to prolonged school closures.
“Rather than use ESSER funds to help students recover from learning losses, some states and school districts that kept schools closed appear to have spent ESSER funds to push favored social agendas,” continued the lawmakers. “These activities appear to have nothing to do with COVID-19 mitigation or learning loss and are a waste and misuse of taxpayer-funded COVID-19 relief programs.”
Read the letter to Secretary Cardona here.