The Archdiocese of Los Angeles has sued Los Angeles Unified, charging it has withheld millions of dollars in federal funding from dozens of Catholic schools, denying thousands of low-income students counseling and academic services they’re entitled to.

The archdiocese said it filed the Dec. 16 lawsuit after repeatedly trying to get the district to reverse its decision to slice Title I funding for nearly all of its 100-plus schools over three years by more than 90%.

In late June, following an investigation, the California Department of Education unequivocally sided with the archdiocese, calling its funding cuts “totally unreasonable.” Its report concluded that the district failed to provide equitable services to archdiocese schools and “engaged in a pattern of arbitrary unilateral decisions.”

The district ignored the archdiocese’s Public Records Act requests to provide documentation justifying the cuts. Instead, the report said, it took a “hide-the-ball approach (that) breached both the spirit and the letter” of the law.