Legislative leaders will not appeal the comprehensive, decisive Feb. 7 school funding order.
The decision is now final and it’s time to create a system that ensures high quality public education for all children. Read our joint statement with Public Interest Law Center and O’Melveny here.
Last night, the Pennsylvania House and Senate finally both approved a new state budget for 2023-24.
With our co-counsel at the Public Interest Law Center, we issued a joint statement on the state budget and the blocking of a private school voucher bill. Read our statement here.
There is critical work to be done in the months ahead to “devise a comprehensive, constitutionally compliant school funding plan to ensure, once and for all, that all children have access to the contemporary, effective system of public education that the constitution mandates, that our children need, and that the decision of the Commonwealth Court requires.”
The fight to fix PA’s unconstitutional funding system must and will continue.
In May 2023, Education Law Center PA submitted comments in response to the U.S. Department of Education’s proposed rule on sex discrimination in school athletics under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. We support the proposed rule’s prohibition on categorical bans that would prevent transgender, intersex and nonbinary students from participating on teams aligned with their gender identity, and we support additional clarifications in the rule that would ensure K-12 students are not prevented from participation based on sex stereotypes. This guidance is particularly important as transgender students in Pennsylvania are being targeted through proposed statewide legislation and multiple school districts considering or implementing policies that prevent students from participating in a school sports team, as well as other discriminatory policies. Playing sports is associated with higher grades and standardized test scores, and teaches students about teamwork and fosters connectedness to school community. All students deserve equal access to these benefits.
In January 2023, a settlement fund was established for former Glen Mills Schools students. Those who are eligible may receive cash payments, compensatory education services, or a combination of these remedies.
Education Law Center, Juvenile Law Center, and Dechert LLP filed the proposed class action lawsuit in April 2019 on behalf of former students and their parents. The complaint was filed in the wake of the closing of the facility by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services in response to findings of pervasive abuse and intimidation against students by Glen Mills Schools residential staff and leadership.
The lawsuit alleged significant violations of the civil rights of former students, including that students were unsafe, subjected to extreme and sustained physical and emotional abuse, and deprived of any meaningful education. The abuse had a particularly dire impact on Black students, sent to Glen Mills in disproportionate numbers, as well as students with disabilities and special education needs, whose educational rights were ignored.
Visit GlenMillsSettlement.org to find some questions and answers about the settlement fund and agreement, including information about eligibility, as well as background information about the Glen Mills Schools and the class action lawsuit.
Updates, application forms, and more details about how to apply will be available on this website soon. Check back for more information.
Former students and their families who have additional questions or want to learn more about whether a former student is eligible for settlement funds created by the CCIU agreement may email [email protected] or leave a message on the Glen Mills Settlement Helpline at 267-515-6853.
On Feb. 7, Commonwealth Court Judge Renée Cohn Jubelirer issued her ruling in the Pennsylvania school funding case. The Education Law Center-PA and the Public Interest Law Center, who represent petitioners in the case, released the following joint statement:
“Today’s decision declaring Pennsylvania’s school funding system unconstitutional is a historic victory for Pennsylvania’s public school children. It will change the future for millions of families, so that children are no longer denied the education they deserve. The court recognized that our schools require adequate funding to meet our constitution’s mandate. It’s time for our state legislature to fund public schools in every corner of Pennsylvania so all students, whether or not they live in a wealthy community, can receive the quality public education guaranteed in our state constitution.”
Read our press release and the full decision.
We’ve spent many years in the fight for fair school funding, so we are thrilled about this decision. We know this is a mighty win for students across the state of PA!
ELC applauds the adoption of the Pennsylvania Human Rights Commission’s final regulation putting in place new significant new nondiscrimination protections for Pennsylvania students. It provides important protections for LGBTQ students, who have been increasingly subjected to discrimination, hostility, and exclusion in our schools. The new regulation also provides a more comprehensive definition of the term race, including ethnic characteristics and traits historically associated with race and specifically including hair texture and protective hairstyles. Read our full statement here.