California community colleges sue U.S. government for denying COVID-19 relief funds to half a million students, including DACA recipients

California
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos testifies during a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on Capitol Hill, June 5, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos testifies during a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on Capitol Hill, June 5, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

The nation’s largest community college system is suing the federal government for denying coronavirus relief funds to more than a half-million California students, including DACA recipients and many of those from low-income families.

California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley and the system’s board of governors filed suit this week in U.S. District Court in San Francisco against the Department of Education and Secretary Betsy DeVos over eligibility restrictions placed on the use of federal aid money for students, arguing that the restrictions are unconstitutional.

“The Department of Education ignored the intent of the CARES Act to give local colleges discretion to aid students most affected by the pandemic, and instead has arbitrarily excluded as many as 800,000 community college students,” California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley said in a statement.

The CARES Act, approved by Congress March 27, set aside $14 billion for higher education relief. At least half of the money must go directly to students in the form of emergency grants.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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