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COPAA Files Motion for Summary Judgement in COPAA v. DeVos Equitable Services Case

Thursday, September 3, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Denise Marshall

Today, the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA) filed a Motion for Summary Judgment in COPAA v DeVos (see: Case 1:20-cv-02310-GLR) which was filed August 10, 2020. COPAA alleges the interim final rule (IFR), issued July 1, 2020 by Secretary DeVos, illegally diverts emergency education relief funding under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) from economically disadvantaged public schools to less disadvantaged private schools.

Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and Section 18005(a) the CARES Act require school districts to spend some of the federal funds they receive on equitable services for private school students.  The question at issue in the case is how the amount that must be spent should be calculated.  COPAA argues that summary judgment is warranted because, contrary to the IFR, the clear and unambiguous language of Section 18005(a) of the CARES Act requires school districts to fund equitable services only based on the number of students from low-income families enrolled in private schools. It is COPAA’s position that the IFR contradicts the CARES Act and imposes unlawful restrictions and conditions on CARES Act funding to K–12 public schools that Congress did not authorize Secretary DeVos to prescribe.

COPAA acknowledges that private schools may also be struggling, and that many students with disabilities attend private schools, some at public expense and some at parent expense.  COPAA’s motion for summary judgment notes that Congress made billions of dollars in federal funds available for private schools in other provisions of the CARES Act.  And nothing in this lawsuit draws into question the continuing obligation of school districts to pay tuition for students with disabilities placed in private schools by the school district, or to reimburse parents when a parental placement is found to be appropriate because of the school district’s failure to provide a student FAPE

Read the Motion for Summary Judgment.

Read the lawsuit.


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