News Releases

Education Law Center Statement on the Pennsylvania General Assembly’s Proposed 2017-18 State Budget

June 30, 2017 PHILADELPHIA, PA – Deborah Gordon Klehr, Executive Director of the Education Law Center, released the following statement today in response to the Pennsylvania General Assembly’s proposed 2017-18 state budget: “The Pennsylvania General Assembly has sent Governor Tom Wolf a compromise state budget agreement that provides some needed new funding for education, including…

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Education Law Center Opposes House Bill 383

Nonprofit law center sends memo blasting “guns in schools” legislation Read the memo: Guns Don’t Belong in Our Schools Philadelphia, PA – Deborah Gordon Klehr, Executive Director of the Education Law Center, released the following statement today in response to Senate Bill 383, which the full Senate is scheduled to vote on today: “Everyone wants…

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Commonwealth Court Affirms Lower Court Decision: A Pencil is Not a Weapon

May 2, 2017 – Commonwealth Court issued a decision in S.A. v. Pittsburgh Public Schools yesterday that affirms the decision of the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas that a pencil is not a weapon within the definition of the School Code or the Pittsburgh Public Schools’ Code of Student Conduct. 

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Education Law Center releases new PA school funding report highlighting racial and class inequities

State needs to both increase funding levels and distribute dollars more fairly March 7 2017 – As the General Assembly debates Pennsylvania’s education budget for next year, the Education Law Center released a report today highlighting how persistent state underfunding of schools has entrenched widespread inequities and inequalities, particularly in schools that serve lower-income families…

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Education Law Center Statement on Governor Tom Wolf’s Pennsylvania Budget Address

Feb. 7, 2017 Deborah Gordon Klehr, Executive Director of the Education Law Center, issued this statement following Governor Tom Wolf’s budget address today: “Governor Wolf’s proposed increase in state funding for basic, special, and early education in next year’s budget is welcome given the Commonwealth’s difficult budget situation. His proposal to increase early education funding…

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Appeals Court Upholds Duty of Lancaster School District to Overcome Language Barriers and Provide Equal Educational Opportunities for Older Immigrant Students

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 30, 2017 PHILADELPHIA (January 30) – The federal Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit today upheld the rights of immigrant students to receive equal educational opportunities in the School District of Lancaster. The opinion emanates from a federal class action lawsuit, Issa, et al., v. School District of Lancaster challenging…

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Important Victory for Parents with Limited English Proficiency and their Children with Disabilities, as Lawsuit against the School District of Philadelphia Moves Forward

December 2, 2016 Philadelphia, Pa. –  A federal class action lawsuit challenging the failure a major school district to provide translation and interpretation services to limited English proficient parents of children with disabilities is moving forward.  This week a federal judge soundly rejected a request by the School District of Philadelphia to throw out any…

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We’re committed to protecting students’ civil rights

November, 2016 The Education Law Center-PA (ELC) is deeply concerned by ongoing racist, homophobic, xenophobic, and misogynistic rhetoric and incidents in schools. We assure our partners across the state that we will continue holding school districts to their legal obligations to maintain a school atmosphere where students can thrive and do not face fears of…

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Philadelphia is making pre-K available for thousands of families

The best gift you can give your young child is quality early learning. Quality PreK sets your child on a path to being more likely to graduate from high school, reduces the likelihood of needing special education services, and raises achievement in school and life. Education Law Center applauds the City of Philadelphia for expanding…

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Education Law Center Statement on Truancy Legislation: HB1907

October 28, 2016 Truancy is an urgent issue across the Commonwealth because the cost to our children and communities is so high: absence from school results in lower academic achievement, higher drop-out rates, and increased involvement in the juvenile justice system.  Truancy also correlates with long-term negative outcomes including drug use, unemployment, victimization, and adult incarceration….

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Emergency Motion Filed to Force School District of Lancaster to Comply with Court Order to Transfer Immigrant Students from Alternative School

LANCASTER, PA – Three weeks after a federal judge ordered the School District of Lancaster to transfer six refugee students from one of the district’s alternative schools, attorneys for the students filed an emergency motion today asking for protection for all English Language Learner immigrant students aged 17-21 against the district’s continuing practice of delaying…

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Pennsylvania Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument for Fair Education Funding Lawsuit

The suit, filed in 2014, claims the Commonwealth is violating its constitutional duty to “support and maintain” a “thorough and efficient system of public education” PHILADELPHIA – September 13, 2016 – Oral argument in William Penn School District, et al. v. Pennsylvania Dept. of Education, et al. commenced before Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court at Philadelphia City Hall…

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Pennsylvania Supreme Court to Hear Oral Argument for Fair Education Funding Suit

The suit, filed in 2014, claims the Commonwealth is violating its constitutional duty to “support and maintain” a “thorough and efficient system of public education” PHILADELPHIA – September 8, 2016 – Oral argument in William Penn School District, et al. v. Pennsylvania Dept. of Education, et al. will commence before Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court at Philadelphia’s…

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ELC Statement in Reponse to Philadelphia’s Suspension and Dress Code Policy Changes

August 22, 2016 We commend the School Reform Commission for restricting the use of suspensions against Kindergarten students and for adopting a revised dress code policy that removes subjective language which disproportionately impacted students of color, especially black girls. These reforms place Philadelphia on the frontlines of a movement to eliminate ineffective and harmful disciplinary…

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