In these comments, Scott Sargrad, former vice president for K-12 Education Policy at CAP, expresses his opposition to the proposed prioritization of discretionary grant programs aligned to the Opportunity Zone incentive program. Although CAP supports the goal of boosting economic development in low-income communities, there are concerns that the Opportunity Zone program can be used by investors to collect tax benefits with little guardrails to ensure that they are actually investing in the highest-need communities. Prioritizing discretionary grant funding for communities in the program’s “opportunity zones” could disadvantage communities with higher needs in a way that goes against the intended aim of many discretionary grant programs. Therefore, Sargrad recommends that the Department of Education does not add this to the secretary’s priorities.
Read the full comments here.