News Room

Fair Funding Lawsuit Goes to Trial Nov. 12, 2021

Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court has scheduled our historic fair funding lawsuit for trial with a start date of Nov. 12, 2021

All children in PA have the right to a high-quality public education. This isn’t just an opinion – it’s the law, written into the state constitution in the 1870s. But in PA, not every child gets the resources they need.

By failing to provide enough state funding, our leaders in Harrisburg have created a school funding system where the students who need the most get the least, simply because of where they live. Our leaders are severely shortchanging students in low-wealth school districts across the state, including where most of our Black and Brown students live. 

It’s wrong, it’s unconstitutional and our leaders in Harrisburg are responsible. That’s why we’ve taken the state to court.

We filed our lawsuit in November 2014, challenging the constitutionality of Pennsylvania’s inadequate, inequitable school funding system. (Here is a short summary.) Seven years later, that case – filed on behalf of six school districts, two statewide associations, and several parents – is headed to trial.

Commonwealth Court Judge Renée Cohn Jubelirer has been overseeing the pre-trial proceedings and will preside over the trial, which is expected to continue through the fall and into January.

The trial will take place in the Pennsylvania Judicial Center in Harrisburg and will be livestreamed (link to be posted here as soon as it is available).

Read more about the case here is a website devoted to the lawsuit jointly produced by the Education Law Center and our co-counsel, the Public Interest Law Center. It will be updated with daily highlights during the trial.

A chronology of the case and relevant court documents are on the Cases page of our website.

Here are some key resources about the case

• Read Frequently Asked Questions about the lawsuit.

• Watch a short video about the case. 

• See a map of Pennsylvania school districts and their school funding “adequacy gaps.”

• Read, download, print, and distribute fliers and fact sheets about the lawsuit.

• Read more about ELC’s other statewide funding advocacy on our Fighting for Fair School Funding” page.

• Learn about what other advocacy groups are doing to support the lawsuit.