University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
view search results
page permalink
Case Name Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA) v. DeVos ED-MD-0005
Docket / Court 1:20-cv-02310-GLR ( D. Md. )
State/Territory Maryland
Case Type(s) Education
Special Collection COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)
Attorney Organization National Center for Youth Law
Case Summary
This is a case about an Interim Final Rule concerning how federal COVID relief CARES Act funding is allocated to private and public schools. On August 10, 2020, The Council Parent Attorneys and Advocates (Parent Advocates) filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in District of Maryland ... read more >
This is a case about an Interim Final Rule concerning how federal COVID relief CARES Act funding is allocated to private and public schools. On August 10, 2020, The Council Parent Attorneys and Advocates (Parent Advocates) filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in District of Maryland. Parent Advocates sued the Secretary of Education, Betsy Devos, and the U.S. Department of Education. Represented by The National Center for Youth Law and private counsel, Parent Advocates sought declaratory and injunctive relief to disallow the enforcement of the Department of Education’s Interim Final Rule regarding school funding under the CARES act, as well as attorney’s fees. The case was assigned to Judge George Levi Russell.

Parents Advocates claimed that the Department of Education and Devos in her official role as Secretary of Education violated the Administrative Procedure Act. Parent Advocates claimed the Administrative Procedure Act was violated because the new interim final rule was arbitrary, capricious, and an abuse of discretion that exceeded their statutory authority. Parent Advocates argued that the interim rule would restrict and reduce CARES Act funding to public schools, and would narrow the permitted uses of the CARES Act funding.

Parent Advocates contended that the interim final rule would divert funding from public schools in several ways. The rule changed how funding is allocated by moving from a poverty-based formula to an enrollment-based formula. Previously, funding was allocated under a poverty-based formula only. The new rule added an enrollment-based formula option in addition to new restrictions that would be imposed if a school district continued to use a poverty-based formula. Parent Advocates argued that the impact of the new enrollment-based formula paired with the poverty-based formula restrictions would result in public school funding being negatively impacted. The plaintiffs contended that if a school district chooses the poverty-based formula for funding, none of their non-Title 1 schools would receive CARES Act funding despite serving disabled, poverty-level children. If they chose the enrollment-based formula, the plaintiffs argued that they would be allocated a greater amount of money would but more will be diverted to private schools in the district. Parent Advocates argued that this new interim rule would end up pushing schools into the enrollment-based option to try and have their non-Title 1 schools receive a fraction of the necessary CARES Act funding they need to serve students.

On September 3, 2020, Parent Advocates filed a motion for summary judgement. Judge Russel initially stayed the proceedings in this case because summary judgment was granted to the plaintiffs in NAACP v. DeVos, resulting in the interim final rule being vacated nationwide. More information about NAACP v. DeVos can be found here.

The defendants announced that they would not appeal the NAACP v. DeVos ruling, thereby ensuring that the decision would stand. On December 18, after it was clear that the summary judgment from NAACP v. DeVos would stand, the plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed this case. The case is now closed.

Ariella Stafanson - 10/09/2020
Justin Hill - 12/20/2020


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
General
Funding
Causes of Action Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.
Defendant(s) Department of Education
Secretary of Education
Plaintiff Description The Council Parent Attorneys and Advocates is an independent, nonprofit, §501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization of attorneys, advocates, parents and related professionals. There are 7 million children with disabilities in America. COPAA members work to protect the legal and civil rights of and secure excellence in education on behalf of tens of thousands of students with disabilities and their families each year at the national, state and local levels.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations National Center for Youth Law
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted Moot
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Filed 08/10/2020
Case Closing Year 2020
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
click to show/hide detail
  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
Court Docket(s)
D. Md.
12/18/2020
1:20-cv-02310-GLR
ED-MD-0005-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
D. Md.
08/10/2020
Complaint to Set Aside a Regulation and for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 1]
ED-MD-0005-0001.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D. Md.
09/14/2020
Order [ECF# 33]
ED-MD-0005-0002.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Russell, George Levi III (D. Mass., D. Md.) show/hide docs
ED-MD-0005-0002 | ED-MD-0005-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Abrokwa, Alice (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
ED-MD-0005-0001 | ED-MD-0005-9000
Busey, George Brian (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
ED-MD-0005-0001 | ED-MD-0005-9000
Galanter, Seth Michael (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
ED-MD-0005-0001 | ED-MD-0005-9000
Grant, Jessica L. (California) show/hide docs
ED-MD-0005-0001 | ED-MD-0005-9000
Hults, Rachel V (California) show/hide docs
ED-MD-0005-0001 | ED-MD-0005-9000
Londen, Jack W. (California) show/hide docs
ED-MD-0005-0001 | ED-MD-0005-9000
Other Lawyers Borkowski, John W (Illinois) show/hide docs
ED-MD-0005-9000
Deweese, Mary E (Illinois) show/hide docs
ED-MD-0005-9000
Duggins-Clay, Paige (Texas) show/hide docs
ED-MD-0005-9000
Letter, Douglas (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
ED-MD-0005-9000
Neeley, Steven A (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
ED-MD-0005-9000
Rushing, Aleksandra O (Missouri) show/hide docs
ED-MD-0005-9000
Shulman, Shmuel B (Missouri) show/hide docs
ED-MD-0005-9000

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
view search results
page permalink

- top of page -