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Funds tied to reopening ‘frustrating’ educators, likely to be challenged

A Republican Senate appropriations bill unveiled this week — dubbed the Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection and Schools (HEALS) Act — would provide $70 billion for schools as part of the latest COVID-19 relief package. But nearly two-thirds of that money is tied to schools reopening for in-person instruction.

While the conditional rules for the funding are not likely to be included in the final package, the move is drawing frustration from educators, many of whom prefer to delay the start of school until conditions allow for safe reopening, as well as policy experts, who think the strategy is a nod to President Donald Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

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