Response to Rescission of Federal School Discipline Guidance and to School Safety Recommendations

The widespread problem of racial discrimination in school discipline is well documented. The 2014 federal discipline guidance from the Obama administration formally recognized that for the first time and challenged exclusionary discipline practices that disproportionately impact students of color and students with disabilities. A December 18, 2018, report from the Federal Commission on School Safety, led by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, has called for rescinding those guidelines. ELC’s statement in response said that a decision to rescind the federal guidance as recommended is bound to allow discriminatory practices in schools to proliferate.

Three days later, on December 21, the federal government proceeded to rescind the guidance, despite widespread opposition. ELC’s statement in response is here.

ELC Stands with Tamaqua Area School District Educators Opposed to Arming School Personnel

The Education Law Center-PA stands with the Tamaqua Area Education Association and many in the Tamaqua school community in eastern Pennsylvania in opposing their school district’s new policy allowing teachers and administrators to carry guns. ELC joined three other organizations in the filing of an amicus brief December 21, 2018, in support of the education association’s lawsuit to block this illegal and dangerous policy. Read about the brief here.

The presence of guns in schools and arming of untrained school staff pose significant safety risks to schoolchildren and communities and are not authorized by state law.  See the ELC statement on the new policy.

Trial in Pa. School Funding Lawsuit Scheduled for Summer 2020

In a breakthrough for efforts to fix Pa.’s broken school funding system, Commonwealth Court
has set a schedule for hearing the facts in William Penn et al. v. PA Dept. of Ed. et al.

December 6, 2018 – Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court released on Thursday a briefing and trial scheduling order in the lawsuit challenging the state’s school funding system. The trial is tentatively set to begin in summer 2020. Judge Renée Cohn Jubelirer issued the order and will oversee the pre-trial proceedings.
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