Six councils, including Sandwell, have won their High Court challenge over the Government's decision to scrap school building projects.
The axe fell last July when Labour's Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme was drastically curtailed after the coalition took power.
BSF was among the first education schemes in England to be cut back by Education Secretary Michael Gove.
Mr Justice Holman, sitting in London, allowed the challenges by the councils, declaring Mr Gove had unlawfully failed to consult them before imposing the cuts.
The victorious authorities include Sandwell Council, Waltham Forest Council, Luton Borough Council, Nottingham City Council, Kent County Council and Newham Council.
The judge said: "However pressing the economic problems, there was no overriding public interest which precluded consultation or justifies the lack of any consultation."
Mr Gove's decision-making process was also unlawful "because of his failure to discharge relevant statutory equality duties under the Sex Discrimination Act, Race Relations Act and Disability Discrimination Act."
As part of BSF, every secondary school in England was due to be rebuilt or refurbished over a 15-20 year period at an estimated cost of £55 billion.
Sandwell Council leader Darren Cooper said: "At the very least, we have been vindicated for bringing the action.
"Now we have to wait to see whether the Government accepts it was too hasty in scrapping the scheme. We have just got to wait with fingers crossed."