Councils are challenging a decision to scrap Labour's £55bn school building programme.
Nottingham City Council said it was prepared to take "whatever actions are necessary" as it started a legal challenge to the Government's decision to halt the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) initiative, which meant funding to refurbish two of the city's schools was cut.
Waltham Forest Council, in north-east London, also started legal action, saying the decision to pull the funding would have a "catastrophic effect" on pupils.
The Education Secretary, Michael Gove, axed the scheme in July – cancelling projects at more than 700 schools. A Department for Education spokesman said: "We understand people's disappointment but the BSF programme was wasteful, needlessly bureaucratic and behind schedule."