ED: Interim final rule to calculate CARES Act is no longer in effect

The statement comes a few days after a U.S. District Court judge rules that the U.S. Education Department exceeded its authority when it released the interim final rule.

The U.S. Education Department posted a statement on its Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund webpage saying that the interim final rule requiring states to allocate the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, Pub. L. No. 116-136, is no longer in effect.

ED’s statement was made public a few days after the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People v. DeVos, 120 LRP 26741 (D.D.C. 09/04/20), in which Judge Dabney Friedrich of the U.S. District Court, District of Columbia ruled ED exceeded its authority when it released the IFR.

According to Cheryl Sattler, Ph.D., senior partner at Ethica LLC, ED’s announcement is an indication that, after three court rulings, ED will not appeal the court’s decision.

Julia Martin, Esq., the legislative director for Brustein & Manasevit PLLC, says that because ED has agreed that the rule has been vacated it means relying solely on the statute. “All the courts have said that Congress clearly intended the funds to flow according to the share of low-income students, so that should also inform decision-making,” Martin explains.

The consequences of ED’s announcement will depend on the state in which the private schools are located, observed Sattler. For example, in districts that chose to use the ESSA funding formula in the first place, she said there will be no consequences to private schools.

Similarly, where funds have already been allocated, approved and expended, it’s not likely that there will be many financial adjustments.
“Essentially in these states, the ruling comes too late to make a difference,” Sattler says. “In other states, particularly those that were part of the various lawsuits, private school allocations will be adjusted downward to fit the ESSA Title I funding formula.”

Claude Bornel covers ELs and other Title I issues for DA sister publications, including TitleIAdmin. Links to documents mentioned above are available to subscribers. 

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