December 29, 2020

Manisha Sunil, West End Strategy Team; Phone: 202-417-0171

Interfaith Alliance: COVID-19 Relief Funding Should Help Those In Need, Not Bolster Private Religious Institutions

WASHINGTON — On Monday, President Trump issued an executive order authorizing the use of Child Care and Development Fund assistance, administered by the Department of Health and Human Services, for funding for private and parochial schools as well as unregulated “learning pods.” In response, Katy Joseph, director of policy & advocacy for Interfaith Alliance, released the following statement:

The COVID-19 pandemic has placed inordinate stress on students, families, and educators. For students in historically under-resourced communities – many of whom rely on public education – this stress is amplified by rising unemployment, inadequate healthcare access, and minimal direct assistance. But instead of bolstering the public institutions that serve communities in need, the Trump administration is spending its final weeks funneling taxpayer money into vouchers for private religious schools. 

Public schools are a cornerstone of our communities. They are a gathering space where no child is unwelcome because of who they are, what they believe, or how they learn. With this executive order, the Trump administration is using the COVID-19 crisis to further its political interests at the expense of the American people. Now is the time to invest in community support – not divert public money toward private religious institutions at the expense of church-state separation.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disproportionately harm historically marginalized communities, it is more important than ever to focus our resources where they are needed most to ensure that students of all backgrounds and abilities can thrive.

If you are interested in speaking further with Katy, please contact Manisha Sunil at (202) 417-0171 or


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