Fact Sheets

ELC’s publications provide a general idea of the law. However, each situation is different. If questions remain about how the law applies to a particular situation, contact us for a referral or contact an attorney of your choice.

Fair School Funding

Fact Sheets

  • April 2017 – A responsible charter school law must empower local governing bodies to strategically control charter growth as a tool to increase quality options and improve our system of public education for all students. The charter school law should not force blind expansion on already burdened systems and compel the loss of neighborhood school options. HB 97 is deficient as it stands. This fact sheet focuses on the key problem areas of this proposed charter reform bill. For ELC’s full response to HB 97, see our letter to the House Education Committee sent on April 24, 2017.

    Download PDF

  • An ELC Fact Sheet published in November 2011 detailing the history of public school funding approaches in Pennsylvania.

    Download PDF

  • A 2013 Fact Sheet on Act 141, the School District Financial Recovery Law, that is intended to assist financially distressed school districts get back on a path toward financial stability. The law, passed July 12, 2012, allows the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Secretary of Education to declare up to nine school districts at a time in Financial Recovery Status. This would then allow the Secretary to appoint either a Chief Recovery Officer or a receiver to develop, implement, and administer a financial recovery plan.

    Download PDF

  • Pennsylvania’s education cost study was commissioned and funded by the General Assembly in June 2006. It was supervised and released by the State Board of Education and performed by a national consulting firm – Augenblick, Palaich and Associates of Denver, Colorado.

    The study was designed to understand what it costs for all students in Pennsylvania public schools – no matter where they live – to receive a quality education allowing them to meet state standards for academic achievement.

    Download PDF

Equal Access

Fact Sheets

  • April 2017 – A responsible charter school law must empower local governing bodies to strategically control charter growth as a tool to increase quality options and improve our system of public education for all students. The charter school law should not force blind expansion on already burdened systems and compel the loss of neighborhood school options. HB 97 is deficient as it stands. This fact sheet focuses on the key problem areas of this proposed charter reform bill. For ELC’s full response to HB 97, see our letter to the House Education Committee sent on April 24, 2017.

    Download PDF

  • Governor Wolf signed new truancy legislation into law on Thursday, November 3, 2016. Here is an overview of key provisions.

    Download PDF

  • Governor Wolf signed new truancy legislation into law on Thursday, November 3, 2016. This factsheet highlights important provisions of the new law relating to the rights of families, and obligations and roles of schools, courts, and children and youth agencies. Key departures from the prior truancy law are in red.

    Download PDF

  • This fact sheet, updated in March, 2016, covers the basics of school discipline in Pennsylvania. This fact sheet applies to all public schools, including charter schools, in the state.

    Download PDF

  • This fact sheet provides an outline of the rights of English language learners (ELL) and/or families of students with limited English proficiency.

    Download PDF

  • The Education Law Center and Juvenile Law Center have developed a fact sheet to explain important educational decision maker rules, including Pennsylvania’s Juvenile Court Procedural Rules (Rules 1147 and 147) requiring judges to appoint an “Educational Decision Maker” for children who have no parent or guardian to make education decisions for them, or when a court concludes that appointing an EDM is in the best interest of a child.

    In addition, under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, school districts have a duty to appoint a “surrogate parent” for children with special education needs under specific circumstances.

    Download PDF

  • A 2014 ELC Fact Sheet providing legal guidance and resource links for questions about opting out of PSSA and Keystone Exams.

    Download PDF

  • This collection of “tools” is intended to help parents and providers ensure school success for children and youth (ages 3-21) in Pennsylvania who are experiencing homelessness. The toolkit provides information about important laws and explains legal rights and how to use them.

    Download PDF

  • This guide provides clearly explained legal rules for special education and early intervention programs in Pennsylvania for children from ages three to 21. 

    Download PDF

  • The Education Law Center’s  guide to the rights of English language learners in Pennsylvania’s public schools outlines basic rights for ELL students and their families. It also provides resource links for additional information.

    Download PDF

  • Youth who are experiencing homelessness have special rights under a federal law called the McKinney-Vento Act. This fact sheet provides information and resources for homeless youth regarding their education rights under that federal law.

     

    Download PDF

  • This step-by-step fact sheet can help older youth enroll themselves in school quickly. It also provides contact information and the necessary forms for school enrollment.

     

    Download PDF

  • La guía es un recurso rápido y fácil a los programas integrales de aprendizaje para la primera infancia en Pennsylvania para padres de niños con retrasos de desarollo o discapacidades. Describe ocho programas diferentes de aprendizaje temprano, incluso Early Head Start y Head Start, Infant and Toddler y Preschool Early Intervention, y Pre-K Counts, y proporciona información para padres sobre desarrollo infantil y cómo indentificar programas de aprendizaje temprano con calidad.

    Download PDF

  • Children who are homeless have special rights which are guaranteed by a federal law called the McKinney-Vento Act. They can usually stay in the same school if they move, they can start school without records, and more.

    Download PDF

  • A child is living with someone other than their parent, has a right to attend public school where he or she lives if certain conditions are met.

    Download PDF

  • ELC’s step-by-step public school enrollment guide.

    Note: A child can be enrolled by a parent, foster parent, guardian, caseworker or anyone having charge or care of the child.

    Download PDF

  • A cyber charter school is a public charter school that provides most of its instruction to its students through the Internet or by some other electronic means. Students who are enrolled in a cyber charter school do most of their schoolwork at home over the computer — they do not go to classes in a school building.

    Download PDF

  • In Pennsylvania, children between the ages of eight and seventeen must attend school. Educating a child at home is one way to comply with compulsory school attendance laws. This fact sheet provides information on homeschooling guidelines in Pennsylvania.

    Download PDF

School to Prison Pipeline

Fact Sheets

  • April 2017 – A responsible charter school law must empower local governing bodies to strategically control charter growth as a tool to increase quality options and improve our system of public education for all students. The charter school law should not force blind expansion on already burdened systems and compel the loss of neighborhood school options. HB 97 is deficient as it stands. This fact sheet focuses on the key problem areas of this proposed charter reform bill. For ELC’s full response to HB 97, see our letter to the House Education Committee sent on April 24, 2017.

    Download PDF

  • This fact sheet, updated in March, 2016, covers the basics of school discipline in Pennsylvania. This fact sheet applies to all public schools, including charter schools, in the state.

    Download PDF

  • Act 26 is a Pennsylvania law which requires the expulsion for at least one year of any student who possesses a weapon on school property, at a school function, or going to and from school.  Many students have faced expulsion as a result of this law. Review the complete fact sheet for more information.

    Download PDF

  • The Education Law Center and Juvenile Law Center have developed a fact sheet to explain important educational decision maker rules, including Pennsylvania’s Juvenile Court Procedural Rules (Rules 1147 and 147) requiring judges to appoint an “Educational Decision Maker” for children who have no parent or guardian to make education decisions for them, or when a court concludes that appointing an EDM is in the best interest of a child.

    In addition, under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, school districts have a duty to appoint a “surrogate parent” for children with special education needs under specific circumstances.

    Download PDF

  • The following information guide for parents and guardians provides important information if the School District of Philadelphia wants to transfer a child to an “alternative education program” (such as Camelot or Phase 4) because of a disciplinary incident.

    Download PDF

  • Una hoja informativa que proporciona información a los padres y tutores sobre las normas y procedimientos para la expulsión de los estudiantes de las escuelas del distrito escolar y las escuelas charter.

    Aunque que las escuelas públicas tienen amplia libertad para crear reglas, deben seguir sus propias reglas. Por lo tanto, una escuela sólo puede expulsar a un estudiante por una violación de una regla de la escuela, si la escuela la ha adoptado oficialmente y distribuido la regla. Las reglas escolares deben estar inscritos en el Código de Conducta del Estudiante y debe ser publicado y distribuido a todos los estudiantes y padres de familia.

    Download PDF

  • A fact sheet providing information for parents and guardians on the rules and procedures for student expulsions from school district and charter schools.

    While public schools have wide latitude to create rules, they must follow their own rules. Thus, a school can only expel a student for a violation of a school rule if the school has officially adopted and distributed the rule. School rules should be listed in a published Code of Student Conduct that should be given to all students and parents.

    Download PDF