Equal Access Sidebar

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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Join ELC in support of the RISE Act

ELC has long supported Respond, Innovate, Succeed, and Empower (RISE) Act  – a federal bill which would allow students with disabilities to present an IEP or 504 plan as proof of a disability when requesting accommodations in college.  The bill is now in the House Education and Labor’s Mental Health Package (see H.R. 7780) and will be marked up tomorrow!…

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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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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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Joint Statement Opposing HB 1152

As civil rights, youth, and education advocacy organizations across Pennsylvania, we oppose HB 1532 and all similar efforts that perpetuate racism and sexism. Our schools bear a responsibility to teach our children accurate history and dismantle biases. The bill prohibits our teachers from accurately teaching history, improperly bans anti-bias training, and would make culturally relevant teaching nearly impossible. The…

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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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Child Advocates Request Special Education Funding

Child advocates from across Pennsylvania sent a letter to the General Assembly in April 2021 advocating for a $200 million increase for special education funding in the 2021-22 budget and asking the legislature to close the charter school special education funding loophole.

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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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Youth in Pa. Residential Institutions: Unsafe, Disconnected, Denied Quality Education

This column by ELC legal director Maura McInerney and Juvenile Law Center staff attorney Kate Burdick highlights the urgent need to address harmful practices in Pennsylvania’s juvenile justice and child welfare residential facilities. Two recent reports laid out the harm being done to children in these placements – and proposed needed reforms, including bringing children…

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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 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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