Court halts Education Department’s rule for pandemic relief money to private schools

A federal judge has blocked a rule by the Department of Education for allocating pandemic relief money to private schools.

U.S. District Judge James Donato in San Francisco issued a preliminary injunction against the rule Thursday. He said the Education Department had exceeded its authority in issuing guidelines for funding distribution beyond what Congress had authorized.

The money, part of the CARES Act approved by Congress to help ease the economic impact of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, was set aside to be distributed to local educational agencies.

The Education Department issued an interim final rule directing local educational agencies to allot money equitably for students in private schools.

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