While Trump appointees are doing their best to impose their policies before January 20, a federal judge in California told Betsy DeVos in no equivocal terms by a federal judge that she cannot divert CARES money to private schools. The nation’s nearly 100,000 public schools received $13.2 billion in CARES funding, which they were required to share with charter schools and to private schools with low-income students. However, charter schools, religious schools, and private schools also qualified for billions more from the CARES Payroll Protection Program, which excluded public schools. DeVos initially tried to wedge private schools into the public schools’ $13.2 billion fund, even if the private schools had no low-income students. But three federal judges rejected her efforts. Now she is permanently enjoined.

LANSING, Mich — A judge has formally closed the case on U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ efforts to rewrite a section of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act that would have diverted $16 million in funding away from public schools in Michigan.

The lawsuit against DeVos was co-led by Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra. On Nov. 9, U.S. District Court Northern District of California Judge James Donato approved a permanent injunction, thus formally closing the case. He then entered a judgement in favor of all plaintiffs.

“This pandemic has greatly impacted students across the country. The CARES Act is imperative as it provides critical funding for our public schools and the resources teachers need to continue safely teaching our youth,” Nessel said. “This permanent injunction sends a clear message that the publicly funded CARES Act dollars should be used as Congress intended – to educate our public students, and not to serve the political agendas of a select few.”