Betsy DeVos Loses First Round Against Michigan in Coronavirus School Funding Suit
On Wednesday a federal judge granted a preliminary injunction for the State of Michigan’s lawsuit against U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos concerning the distribution of funding of Federal Coronavirus relief for schools.
The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, or CARES Act allocated $13 billion in emergency education funding to states to support school districts, according to a document from the U.S. House Committee on Education and Labor. The funding was allocated for things like sanitizing schools, purchasing educational technology and training teachers to use online tools.
This preliminary injunction will stop Devos and The Department of Education from enforcing it’s guidance on funding in this case. This ruling affects 8 states, the district of Columbia, and four school districts. The Judge is James Donato of the U.S. District Court of Northern California. He said he was in agreement with the state and others involved in the suit. The Judge also said “allowing the Department to rewrite the statutory formula for sharing education funds is manifestly not in the public interest.” Michigan's Attorney General and Governor appreciated the ruling. “We are pleased with the Court’s decision and will continue to fight against the unlawful approach taken by Secretary DeVos to redirect pandemic relief money from public schools to serve her own political agenda,” Nessel said in a statement.
CARES Act funds were designed to support districts in low income areas. Betsy DeVos wanted to direct funds to private schools instead of schools that are in dire need of critical funding right now.