A.M. v. School District of Philadelphia and PA Dept. of Education (2013)

This administrative complaint of 2013, resulted in state establishing proactive obligation of school districts to ensure appointment of “surrogate parents” for children with disabilities in foster care residential placements, adoption of new monitoring procedures, and issuance of new state guidance.

Jill D. v. Snider (W.D. Pa., 1996)

Settlement requiring qualified hearing officers and timely decisions in DPW hearing system for children receiving Early Intervention services.

LeGare v. School District of Philadelphia (E.D. Pa., 1994)

Consent decree established new policy and procedure for inclusion of students with disabilities in specialized and magnet high school programs which includes different application review process and waiver of certain testing on a case-by-case basis; resolution of School Reform Commission extends this entitlement to English Language Learners.

N.C. v. Easton Area School District (U.S. District Court – Eastern District, 2013)

The Education Law Center filed this Dec. 10, 2013 lawsuit on behalf of two students experiencing homelessness who have recently been dis-enrolled from their public schools due to lack of residency. Plaintiff N.C. is a senior in high school who is on track to graduate and his brother, Plaintiff N.G.C., an 8th grade student. Both children have special education needs and have attended school in Easton Area School District all their lives.

The two students are currently back in school pending a judge’s ruling on the case.



T.P. v. McKeesport, (Court of Common Pleas, Allegheny County, 2012)

On August 23, 2012, the Court granted final approval of a Class Action Settlement Agreement providing comprehensive relief to over 300 former residents of a group home who were educated in a segregated and more limited educational setting at McKeesport Area School District.

The lawsuit, filed by ELC in partnership with Pittsburgh-based KidsVoice, claimed that the District violated state and federal laws by treating residents of the group home in a discriminatory manner and denying them access to the full range of educational opportunities afforded to residents of the District. The Settlement Agreement approved by the Court ensures that all students residing in the group home will have full access to educational opportunities in regular public schools. In addition, the Agreement provides supplemental educational services to all students and compensatory education services to students with disabilities who resided in the group home.

Ridley School District, Appellee v. M.R. and J.R., parents of E.R., A Minor, Appellants (3d Cir., 2012)

This case, filed in February 2011, involves an issue of first impression in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals regarding the meaning of the IDEA’s requirement that the special education and related services and supplementary aids and services in a child’s IEP be “based on peer-reviewed research to the extent practicable.” The case was argued in front of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals on March 19, 2012.

Pyramid Health, Inc. v. Quakertown Community School District (2010)

This complaint resulted in corrective action report requiring school district to provide a full day of instruction and an educational program that is “equally effective” as that afforded to non-disabled peers including, access to public school to youth residing in drug rehab residential placement who had previously received only 5 per week of education.

Steven M. v. Gilhool (E.D. Pa., 1988)

This class action lawsuit struck down a statute limiting access to educational services for children with disabilities abandoned by parents from another state.

A.E. v. Carlynton School District (W.D. Pa., 2009)

This case challenged exclusion of highly mobile students experiencing homelessness to enroll in school when it was difficult to establish a school of origin or where the family was living. The decision resulted in state policy that, among other things, now ensures enrollment that allows homeless families to establish residency in a district where they have a substantial connection.