Ensuring Equal Access

ELC Comments on Title IX Proposed Rules – Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Sex

Education Law Center has submitted comments in response to the U.S. Department of Education’s proposed rules on Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. ELC’s concerns focus on the impact of the proposed amended regulations on students in Pennsylvania’s publicly-funded PreK-12 schools, including Black girls, who are more likely to be subject to sexual…

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Our 2022 Back-to-School Guide for Students and Families is Now Available

September 1, 2022 – The Education Law Center’s 2022 Back-to-School guide is now online with a comprehensive set of publications on more than a dozen education topics. Please check it out. Every year, the Education Law Center updates and expands its collection of fact sheets and other publications written to help families, students and child-serving…

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Read ELC’s New Special Education Funding Report

The Education Law Center’s new report Fixing the Special Education Funding Gap details the large decline in the state share of special education funding over the past decade. Inadequate funding for basic education and special education programs creates a dual funding gap, one that particularly affects students in low wealth school districts. These districts serve…

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Gov. Wolf Signs Credit Transfer Bill

Students facing some of the greatest barriers to timely high school graduation finally get some relief. On January 26, Governor Wolf signed SB 324 into law as Act 1 of 2022, bringing a successful conclusion to a 10-year effort. The law requires school districts to provide one-on-one assistance to students who are at risk of…

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ELC and Partners Call for Mask Mandate

The Education Law Center, alongside four dozen partner organizations throughout Pennsylvania, called for a universal mask mandate for all Pennsylvania public schools, with appropriate exceptions for students and school staff with qualifying disabilities. You can read the letter to the governor and secretaries of education and health here and the letter to the General Assembly…

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Three new tools to identify and address attendance barriers.

ELC has created three new tools to identify and address attendance barriers. Far too often, we see that families are held accountable for systemic or school-based barriers, instead of receiving needed supports. This set of resources helps families, schools, and Magisterial District Court Judges -the three key players in the truancy context- proactively identify and address attendance…

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Join ELC’s Day of Legislative Action

Join ELC’s Day of Legislative Action to support Senate Bill 324, “Fostering A Smooth Transition for Graduation” This bill supports highly mobile youth through better graduation planning, smooth transfer of academic credits, and targeted educational supports. Sign our letter of support for S.B. 324 using our sign on form. For more information, please see our factsheet or the Bill’s text.  CALL YOUR STATE SENATORS ! Tell your legislator that…

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Show Your Support For Senate Bill 324: “Fostering a Smooth Transition for Graduation”

Please join ELC in advocating for the passage of important legislation, S.B. 324, to advance the educational rights of Pennsylvania students with experience in the foster care and juvenile justice systems and students experiencing homelessness. The bill, “Fostering a Smooth Transition for Graduation,” ensures these highly mobile youth receive credit for academic work completed, obtain…

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Help Make PA Schools More Supportive of Immigrant, Refugee Families

Do you want to help make your school district more welcoming and supportive for immigrant and refugee students and families?  Education Law Center is partnering with the Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition (PICC) to collect anonymous and confidential responses from immigrant and refugee students in grades 4-12 and parents with children in grades K-12 to…

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COVID-19 – Information on Supporting Older Youth

This publication aims to give you concrete tips and resources so that you can play a vital role in supporting young people in Pennsylvania during the COVID 19 crisis so they can stay healthy and maintain their educational success.

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ELC Applauds U.S. DOJ Agreement to Overhaul PA’s Alternative Education Programs to Protect Students with Disabilities and English Learners but Says Agreement Ignores Racial Disparities

  The U.S. Department of Justice has reached a comprehensive agreement with the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), settling a federal civil rights investigation triggered by the Education Law Center’s 2013 complaint challenging discriminatory practices in the state’s disciplinary “alternative education” programs.  Read ELC’s full news release here. The programs covered by the agreement are…

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Improving Supports for Philadelphia’s 15,000 English Learner Students

In January 2019 testimony about English learners to the Philadelphia school board’s Student Achievement and Support Committee, Education Law Center Legal Director Maura McInerney brought attention to reductions in ESL instruction and support, barriers to special education evaluations and services, the failure to provide interpretation and translation services, and lack of access to special admission schools and…

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ELC and CASA Philadelphia Webinar for Educational Decision Makers (EDMs)

This webinar was hosted by the Education Law Center-PA and CASA Philadelphia as a training for court-appointed Educational Decision Makers (EDMs) who represent children in foster care to ensure their access to a quality public education. The presentation features an overview of an “EDM Toolkit” prepared by these agencies and includes education issues relating to enrollment, access to special education services,…

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ELC Joins Civil Rights Organizations in Issuing New Report Challenging Curtailment of Important Protections for Children of Color

ELC joined more than a dozen other civil rights organizations in releasing a new report highlighting the ways the Trump Administration is aggressively and intentionally limiting the civil rights protections of children and youth of color in schools. The Report was prepared by the Civil Rights Roundtable, a national coalition of organizations and academic professionals…

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PDE Widens Investigation and Remedy For Young Children With Disabilities Transitioning to Kindergarten in Philadelphia

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) has significantly broadened its corrective action in response to ELC’s administrative complaint alleging that the School District of Philadelphia denied young children with disabilities timely evaluations and special education services upon transitioning to Kindergarten or First Grade.  In its prior Complaint Investigation Report (“CIR”) PDE required the District to…

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