For Immediate Release

Press Contact
Sarah Clements,, 202.765.8584

Interfaith Alliance Condemns Secretary DeVos’s Plan to Use Crisis Funds for Private Schools

Washington, D.C. – This week, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced more than $300 million in taxpayer funding for the “Rethink K-12 School Models Grant” plan as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Advocacy Associate Maureen O’Leary, who leads Interfaith Alliance’s education initiatives, condemned this approach:

“School closures related to the COVID-19 pandemic have put inordinate stress on students, their families, and educators. As families across the country adapt to the current crisis, there is a profound need for resources that serve students of all backgrounds, incomes, and abilities. 

“Instead of meeting families’ needs at this moment, the plan announced by Secretary DeVos fails to meet the short-term needs of students while causing long-term damage to the public school system. Using the COVID-19 pandemic as a vehicle to divert taxpayer dollars to private school programs, including to religious institutions, serves the administration’s agenda, not affected students.

“During this crisis, we must focus our resources where they are needed most to ensure that students of all backgrounds and abilities can thrive. We must equip public school teachers with the tools and training they need to provide online instruction, reach students who lack access to technology with the equipment they need to learn remotely, and invest in programs that will help marginalized students and address exacerbated opportunity gaps.” 

“Secretary DeVos – and the entire Trump administration – should not push a controversial agenda by capitalizing on a public health crisis.”

If you are interested in speaking with Maureen O’Leary about this ongoing issues, please reach out to Sarah Clements at


Interfaith Alliance is a network of people of diverse faiths and beliefs from across the country working together to build a resilient democracy and fulfill America’s promise of religious freedom and civil rights not just for some, but for all. We mobilize powerful coalitions to challenge Christian nationalism and religious extremism, while fostering a better understanding of the healthy boundaries between religion and government. We advocate at all levels of government for an equitable and just America where the freedoms of belief and religious practice are protected, and where all persons are treated with dignity and have the opportunity to thrive. For more information visit