Ambach v. Bell, Nos. 82-1762

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
Writing for the CourtBefore ROBINSON, Chief Judge, and WILKEY and BORK; PER CURIAM
Citation686 F.2d 974
Docket NumberNos. 82-1762,82-1769
Decision Date17 August 1982
PartiesGordon M. AMBACH, Commissioner of Education of the State of New York, et al. v. T. H. BELL, Secretary of Education, et al., Appellants. Gordon M. AMBACH, Commissioner of Education of the State of New York, et al. v. T. H. BELL, Secretary of Education Dr. Wayne Teague, Alabama State Superintendent of Education, et al., Appellants, Wayne Teague, Alabama State Superintendent of Education, et al., Intervenors.

Page 974

686 F.2d 974
222 U.S.App.D.C. 348
Gordon M. AMBACH, Commissioner of Education of the State of
New York, et al.
v.
T. H. BELL, Secretary of Education, et al., Appellants.
Gordon M. AMBACH, Commissioner of Education of the State of
New York, et al.
v.
T. H. BELL, Secretary of Education Dr. Wayne Teague, Alabama
State Superintendent of Education, et al., Appellants,
Wayne Teague, Alabama State Superintendent of Education, et
al., Intervenors.
Nos. 82-1762, 82-1769.
United States Court of Appeals,
District of Columbia Circuit.
Argued July 23, 1982.
Decided Aug. 17, 1982.

Page 975

On Motions for Summary Reversal or Stay Pending Appeal (D.C. Civil Action No. 82-01460).

William Kanter and Neil H. Koslowe, Attys., Dept. of Justice, Washington, D. C., were on the emergency motion for summary reversal or in the alternative, for stay pending appeal filed by appellant T. H. Bell, Secretary of Educ., in No. 82-1762.

David C. Long, Washington, D. C., was on the emergency motion of intervenors-appellants for summary reversal or in the alternative for stay pending appeal in No. 82-1769.

Ariel L. Mendez and Angel A. Valencia-Aponte, San Juan, P. R., were on the response of the Puerto Rico Secretary of Educ., intervenor-appellee, to the emergency motions of appellant and intervenors-appellants for summary reversal or in the alternative for stay pending appeal.

Robert Abrams, Atty. Gen., State of N. Y., Howard L. Zwickel and Paul M. Glickman, Asst. Attys. Gen., State of N. Y., New York City, Francis X. Bellotti, Atty. Gen., Com. of Mass., Boston, Mass., Jane Nelson, Deputy Atty. Gen., State of Nev., Carson City, Nev., Eugene J. Sullivan, Asst. Atty. Gen., State of N. J., Trenton, N. J., and David L. Wilkinson, Atty. Gen., State of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, were on the response in opposition to emergency motions for summary reversal or in the alternative stay pending appeal in Nos. 82-1762 and 82-1769.

Before ROBINSON, Chief Judge, and WILKEY and BORK, Circuit Judges.

Opinion PER CURIAM.

Page 976

PER CURIAM:

The representatives of a number of States (the plaintiff States) brought suit in the District Court to enjoin the Secretary of Education (the Secretary) from distributing funds under the Education Consolidation and Improvement Act of 1981 using data from the 1970 census. In dispute is the allocation of $276 million earmarked for educationally disadvantaged children. The District Court granted the plaintiff States a preliminary injunction, and the Secretary appealed, requesting summary reversal or, in the alternative, a stay pending appeal. After receiving memoranda from the Secretary and the plaintiff States, as well as from representatives of States that had intervened in the trial court supporting use of the 1970 census data (the intervenor States), and from fifty members of Congress as amici curiae, we heard oral argument on the motions on July 23, 1982. Later that day, we granted the motion for summary reversal by issuing an order that vacated the District Court's order and dissolved the preliminary injunction. We now write to explain our decision.

I. Background

The Education Consolidation and Improvement Act of 1981 (ECIA), Pub.L.No.97-35, 95 Stat. 463, was enacted on August 13, 1981, as part of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981, Pub.L.No.97-35, 95 Stat. 357. Chapter 1 of the ECIA continues the program of federal financial assistance for educationally deprived children by making payments to state educational agencies "on the basis of entitlements created under title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) and calculated in accordance with provisions of that title in effect on September 30, 1982." Id. § 553 (to be codified at 20 U.S.C. § 3802). Congress established the program as a "forward funding" program, which means that "funds appropriated in any fiscal year to carry out activities under this subtitle shall become available for obligation on July 1 of such fiscal year and shall remain available for obligation until the end of the succeeding fiscal year." Id. § 594 (to be codified at 20 U.S.C. § 3874). See generally S.Rep.No.139, 97th Cong., 1st Sess. 904 (1981), U.S.Code Cong. & Admin.News 1981, p. 396; House Comm. on the Budget, 97th Cong., 1st Sess., The Congressional Budget Process 98, 106 (Comm.Print 1981).

The method of allocating funds under title I of the ESEA, which applies to the ECIA chapter 1 allocations in dispute here, is given in 20 U.S.C. § 2711 (Supp. IV 1980). When the Secretary "determines that satisfactory data for that purpose are available," he calculates a State's allocation by multiplying the number of children counted under subsection 2711(c) by 40% of the average per-pupil expenditure, so long as the average per-pupil expenditure is no less than 80% and no more than 120% of the average per-pupil expenditure in the United States. 20 U.S.C. § 2711(a)(2)(A). 1 If the total congressional appropriation for chapter 1 exceeds the amount appropriated for fiscal year 1979, half the excess is allocated to the States under a formula based on data from the 1975 Survey of Income and Education conducted by the Bureau of the Census. Id. § 2711(a)(3)(D).

Under subsection 2711(c), three groups of children are counted: (1) children aged 5 to 17 from families below a specified poverty level, see id. § 2711(c) (2)(A); (2) children aged 5 to 17 from families above the current poverty level who receive aid to families with dependent children, see id. § 2711(c)(2)(B); and (3) children aged 5 to 17 living in institutions for neglected or delinquent children or being supported in foster homes by public funds, see id. § 2711(c)(1)(A)(iii). This case centers on the method for making the first count of children. The statute provides:

For the purposes of this section, the (Secretary) shall determine the number of children aged five to seventeen, inclusive, from families below the poverty level

Page 977

on the basis of the most recent satisfactory data available from the Department of Commerce for local educational agencies (or, if such data are not available for such agencies, for counties); and in determining the families which are below the poverty level, the Commissioner shall utilize the criteria of poverty used by the Bureau of the Census in compiling the 1970 decennial census.

Id. § 2711(c)(2)(A).

It is possible, of course, that Congress will not appropriate sufficient funds to pay in full the total amounts to which the local educational agencies (generally school districts) are entitled. In that event, the allocations must be ratably reduced to the extent necessary to bring the total allocation within the amount appropriated. See id. § 2843. In addition, if this ratable reduction causes any local educational agency to receive less than 85% of the amount it had been allocated for the preceding fiscal year, its allocation must be increased to the 85% level. The funds for this increase are derived by "proportionately reducing" the allocations of the remaining local educational agencies. Id. § 2843(a).

Each year, the Secretary of Education calculates the allocation to each county using the method described above. The possibility of ratable reductions requires that the allocations for all States and their counties take place at once. The States must then distribute the funds appropriately among the local educational agencies in each county. A State in which a large number of local educational agencies overlap county boundaries may apply to the Secretary for authority to receive the State allocation directly to its own State educational agency and to allow that agency to make the further allocations to local educational agencies without regard to counties. See id. § 2711(a)(3)(C). The State educational agency must provide assurances, however, that "such allocations will be made using precisely the same factors for determining a grant as are used under (section 2711.)" Id.

Since 1973, the Secretary has used data from the 1970 census to calculate the number of children in families below the poverty level. During early 1982, it appeared that appropriate data from the 1980 census would not be available until the fall of 1982. On February 12, 1982, the Department of Education issued proposed rules for chapter 1 of the ECIA, noting that "(i)t is unlikely that poverty data from the 1980 census will be available before the end of next summer." 47 Fed.Reg. 6584, 6584 (1982). The notice continued, "It is the Department's current intention to use 1970 census data in determining county aggregate allocations of Chapter 1 funds for the 1982-83 school year." Id.

Generally the Secretary notifies all States simultaneously of their exact dollar entitlements through a "Notice of Entitlement." These figures are then used by the States to compute allocations for each educational agency or school district. A second notice, the "Notification of Grant Award" is sent to each State after it has submitted and received approval from the Secretary of its application for funds. This notification indicates that the State has met all legal requirements associated with the grant award. See 20 U.S.C. § 2832. The Notification of Grant Award is for the same amount as that in the Notice of Entitlement, but the time it is transmitted to each State will depend on when that State has met all its legal requirements.

Around April 21, 1982, the Bureau of the Census indicated that it anticipated that by the first week in June the 1980 census data, from which chapter 1 allocations could be made, would be available. Nonetheless, the Secretary on May 14, 1982 issued an "ECIA Chapter 1 Program Directive," advising each State of the chapter 1 allotments that its local educational agencies could expect to receive on a countywide basis for the coming school year. The allotments were based on countywide data on the number of children from families below the poverty level as measured in the...

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48 practice notes
  • Air Line Pilots Ass'n Intern. v. Eastern Air Lines, Inc., AFL-CIO
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • October 28, 1988
    ...technically the case is only at the stage of application for preliminary injunction." Morton, 458 F.2d at 832; see also Ambach v. Bell, 686 F.2d 974, 980 (D.C.Cir.1982) (not hesitating to "delve into the merits of the controversy to the extent necessary for evaluation of the case before us"......
  • Mylan Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Thompson, No. CIV. A. 00-2876(RMU).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. United States District Court (Columbia)
    • March 13, 2001
    ...a preliminary injunction rests in the sound discretion of the trial court, it is not a form of relief granted lightly. See Ambach v. Bell, 686 F.2d 974, 979 (D.C.Cir.1982). Traditionally, courts must examine four factors: (1) whether there is a substantial likelihood that the plaintiff will......
  • Ayuda, Inc. v. Thornburgh, Nos. 88-5226
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • November 5, 1991
    ...is denied; (3) the threat of substantial harm to others if the relief is granted; and (4) the public interest. See, e.g., Ambach v. Bell, 686 F.2d 974, 979 (D.C.Cir.1982) (per curiam). We normally review the district court's balancing of these factors for abuse of discretion. See, e.g., Fou......
  • Mylan Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Thompson, Civil Action No.: 00-2876 (RMU) (D. D.C. 3/14/2001), Civil Action No.: 00-2876 (RMU)
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. United States District Court (Columbia)
    • March 14, 2001
    ...a preliminary injunction rests in the sound discretion of the trial court, it is not a form of relief granted lightly. See Ambach v. Bell, 686 F.2d 974, 979 (D.C. Cir. 1982). Traditionally, courts must examine four factors: (1) whether there is a substantial likelihood that the plaintiff wi......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
48 cases
  • Air Line Pilots Ass'n Intern. v. Eastern Air Lines, Inc., AFL-CIO
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • October 28, 1988
    ...technically the case is only at the stage of application for preliminary injunction." Morton, 458 F.2d at 832; see also Ambach v. Bell, 686 F.2d 974, 980 (D.C.Cir.1982) (not hesitating to "delve into the merits of the controversy to the extent necessary for evaluation of the case before us"......
  • Mylan Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Thompson, No. CIV. A. 00-2876(RMU).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. United States District Court (Columbia)
    • March 13, 2001
    ...a preliminary injunction rests in the sound discretion of the trial court, it is not a form of relief granted lightly. See Ambach v. Bell, 686 F.2d 974, 979 (D.C.Cir.1982). Traditionally, courts must examine four factors: (1) whether there is a substantial likelihood that the plaintiff will......
  • Ayuda, Inc. v. Thornburgh, Nos. 88-5226
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • November 5, 1991
    ...is denied; (3) the threat of substantial harm to others if the relief is granted; and (4) the public interest. See, e.g., Ambach v. Bell, 686 F.2d 974, 979 (D.C.Cir.1982) (per curiam). We normally review the district court's balancing of these factors for abuse of discretion. See, e.g., Fou......
  • Mylan Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Thompson, Civil Action No.: 00-2876 (RMU) (D. D.C. 3/14/2001), Civil Action No.: 00-2876 (RMU)
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. United States District Court (Columbia)
    • March 14, 2001
    ...a preliminary injunction rests in the sound discretion of the trial court, it is not a form of relief granted lightly. See Ambach v. Bell, 686 F.2d 974, 979 (D.C. Cir. 1982). Traditionally, courts must examine four factors: (1) whether there is a substantial likelihood that the plaintiff wi......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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