Case Names: Michigan v. DeVos, Washington v. DeVos, NAACP v. DeVos
Type of Case: CARES Act relief for private schools
Court: Federal court
Filed On: June 29, 2020
The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) filed an amicus brief in Michigan v. DeVos, a critical legal dispute in federal court between a group of state attorneys general and the federal Education Department over the availability of CARES Act funding for private schools. WILL is leading a coalition of 38 state and national groups representing the interests of private schools and parental choice.
The $2.2 trillion federal CARES Act, passed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, included an Education Stabilization Fund to support schools with the costs of safely reopening and navigating the crisis. The law directed the Department of Education to distribute these funds “equitably” between public and private schools and students but did not dictate exactly how the funds should be distributed.
On June 25, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos issued an interim final rule that gives states and local public-school districts options for how to fairly allocate CARES Act relief to private schools. Many states and local school districts refused to follow the rule. Nine attorneys general and four metropolitan school districts, including Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul, filed a multi-state federal lawsuit against the Education Department challenging the interim final rule and argued that the majority of the funding should be directed to public schools.
WILL’s amicus, on behalf of 38 state and national groups, represents the important interests of America’s private schools in this critical debate. COVID-19’s impact on education was not restricted to public schools. With more than 5 million students attending 33,000 schools, WILL and our coalition partners make clear that federal CARES Act relief is critical for the safety and education of the nearly 10% of American students attending private schools.
WILL’s amicus is joined by associations and advocacy groups that represent and support private schools and their families in Wisconsin, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, and throughout the nation, that serve Catholic, Orthodox Jewish, Islamic, Lutheran, other Christian, and independent secular schools, and that collectively educate millions of students.
- NAACP v. DeVos Amicus Brief, August 24, 2020
- Washington v. DeVos Amicus Brief, August 6, 2020
- Michigan v. DeVos Amicus Brief, July 29, 2020
- “Coronavirus Doesn’t Discriminate, But Bureaucrats Do,” Libby Sobic, July 10, 2020
- “Is DPI Leaving Private Schools Out in the Cold?” Libby Sobic, June 1, 2020