Last updated on August 20, 2020
Sen. David Perdue of Georgia, a Republican up for re-election this fall, recently introduced a bill called the ''Safely Creating Healthy Opening Options Locally Act'' (the SCHOOL Act), which would give Education Secretary Betsy DeVos control over $50 billion in federal relief grants to local school districts. In the past, Perdue has repeatedly called for defunding and abolishing the Department of Education.
Perdue, who finds himself in a tight race against Democrat Jon Ossoff, a media executive and former congressional candidate, has pitched the bill as way to incentivize schools to reopen amid the coronavirus outbreak, which he once compared to car crashes.
Under the bill — currently in limbo after negotiations over the second round of pandemic relief fell apart — schools could apply for federal grants by submitting reopening plans to the Department of Education. The grants would help fund protective equipment and other hygienic needs for individual schools.
About $1 million of that money came during a five-day stretch at the end of July immediately after news coverage of a digital ad run by incumbent Republican Sen. David Perdue’s campaign that appeared to alter Ossoff’s image by enlarging his nose.
The Democrat complained the ad was an anti-Semitic attack on Ossoff, who is Jewish. While denying that Ossoff was being targeted and describing the altered image as an accident, the Perdue campaign deleted the ad.
Ossoff’s campaign received 28,000 contributions from first-time donors in July. Thus far, the Democrat has received donations form 150 of Georgia’s 159 counties.
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