Black Country council chiefs are to reject demands that they travel to London to explain why a £138million school building scheme should go ahead.
Education Secretary Michael Gove has asked Sandwell councillors and officials to meet him in Whitehall, to discuss the fate of nine schools in the borough.
But council leader Darren Cooper said he would only attend the meeting if Mr Gove came to Sandwell first - to see the run-down state of school buildings with his own eyes.
The latest row follows a court ruling which found Mr Gove’s decision to halt the Building Schools for the Future programme in Sandwell and five other areas was “unlawful”.
High court judge Mr Justice Holman ordered the Education Secretary to think again.
As a result, Mr Gove gave Sandwell and the other affected councils a deadline of April 11 to explain why a the schools should be refurbished.
And in a statement to the House of Commons, he said: “I will consider carefully the information that the local authorities provide. Local authority officers and relevant elected members and Members of Parliament will be invited to attend a meeting at the department.
“These meetings will allow the local authorities to discuss the information they have provided in more depth and allow them to make further representations on issues that they consider need particular attention.”
But the suggestion that councillors would be summoned to London sparked anger in Sandwell.
Coun Cooper, Labour leader of the authority, pointed out that Mr Gove had promised to visit Sandwell last July, shortly after he made the controversial decision to scrap the building project - but he still hadn’t come.
“I believe that if he actually saw the schools, he would agree that they must get the funding,” said Coun Cooper.
“How can he make a decision about whether schools in Sandwell should receive funding without seeing them for himself?
“We’ve been to London once to put our case to him.
“I’m happy to go down again, if Michael Gove first fulfils his promise to come to see the schools, and I think that is reasonable.”
A Department for Education spokesman said Mr Gove had initially planned to visit Sandwell but had met council representatives in London instead.