Fair Funding Sidebar

School Funding Lawsuits Move the Needle on Fairness

Education Law Center executive director Deborah Gordon Klehr wrote about the history of school funding lawsuits that have been filed in dozens of states besides Pennsylvania. “We see from the experience of other states that school funding lawsuits have been strikingly successful at moving the needle toward fairness,” she wrote. “Decisions in such lawsuits spur…

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Trial Date in School Funding Lawsuit Now Scheduled for Nov. 12

Despite an unanticipated one-month delay, public school students in Pennsylvania will soon have their day in court.  Commonwealth Court Judge Renée Cohn Jubelirer has scheduled a trial start date of November 12, 2021, in our historic lawsuit challenging Pennsylvania’s school funding system, William Penn School District et al. v. Pennsylvania Department of Education et al. The judge…

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Tentative Trial Date Is Set in Pennsylvania School Funding Lawsuit

Public school students in Pennsylvania will soon have their day in court. A Commonwealth Court order released April 1 tentatively scheduled a trial start date of September 9, 2021, in a historic lawsuit challenging Pennsylvania’s school funding system.  [Note: On Aug. 18, the date was pushed back one month to Oct. 12.] Attorneys expect the trial to…

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Funding Lawsuit Moves Closer to Trial with Ruling That Parents Will Remain in Case

In a ruling March 8 by Commonwealth Court, a judge held that two Pennsylvania parents who were among those who filed the landmark lawsuit in 2014 challenging Pennsylvania’s school funding system as unconstitutional will be able to pursue their claims, even though their children have now graduated from high school. The ruling is a victory…

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Funding Increases in PA Budget Are Welcomed but Not Sufficient, ELC Says

The tentative budget agreement between Pennsylvania Gov. Wolf and legislative leaders that was announced on June 24 includes a significant boost in special education funding. There are other bright spots in the budget, but state education funding still falls far below what is needed. ELC executive director Deborah Gordon Klehr issued a statement on the…

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ELC Responds to 2019-20 Budget Proposal of Gov. Wolf

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf announced his proposed 2019-20 budget before the General Assembly on Feb. 5. The Education Law Center and other child advocacy groups had urged the governor to make a bold school funding proposal, including $400 million in new funds for basic education and $100 million for special education. The increases in is…

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Fair Funding Lawsuit Has a Schedule: Trial Date is November 12, 2021.

Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court has scheduled our historic fair funding lawsuit for trial with a start date of November 12, 2021. Judge Renée Cohn Jubelirer has been overseeing the pre-trial proceedings and will preside over the trial, which is expected to run through December. The trial will take place in the Pennsylvania Judicial Center in Harrisburg…

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Opposition Brief to Mootness Application Filed in School Funding Case

Funding gaps between high-wealth and low-wealth districts are growing, and state funding for classroom expenses has declined over four years. Those are key points in our latest brief in the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court case filed by parents, school districts, and two statewide associations challenging Pennsylvania’s broken school funding system. In May, the Court directed the…

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School Funding Lawsuit Advances

On May 7, 2018, the Commonwealth Court overruled objections filed by state legislative leaders and moved our school funding lawsuit closer to trial. Read about the Court’s decision and our next steps for resolving underfunding and gross inequalities in Pennsylvania’s schools.

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Commonwealth Court Holds Oral Argument in ELC’s Funding Case

Not even a snowstorm could halt the momentum of ELC’s Fair Funding Lawsuit, as advocates from ELC, PILC, and pro bono counsel O’Melveny and Myers argued today that objections filed by the defendants were without merit and should be dismissed, allowing the case to move to discovery and trial.  Details, including links to news coverage…

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ELC Applauds Gov. Wolf’s Education Budget Proposals, but PA Still Has Far to Go.

Education Law Center Executive Director Deborah Gordon Klehr applauded Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed increases in funding for basic education, special education, early education, and career and technical education in his Feb. 6 budget address. But the state still has far to go, she said in a press statement, to achieve an adequate and equitable funding…

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24 Pennsylvania Organizations Join Together to Oppose ESA Voucher Senate Bill

On January 19, 2018, ELC joined 23 other organizations, including teachers, other school workers, school administrators, school boards, advocates, faith-based organizations, and non-partisan civic organizations such as the League of Women Voters, to oppose PA Senate Bill 2.  The Bill is a school voucher proposal masquerading as an Education Savings Account program.  The Bill is…

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Education Law Center opposes stealth voucher bill in PA legislature.

The Education Law Center joined with partners from across the Commonwealth to oppose HB 1717, “education savings account” legislation, an ill-conceived voucher program that would allow state dollars to fund private schools that discriminate against children with disabilities and others.   Read our September 2017 Memo to the House Education Committee.

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We’re committed to protecting students’ civil rights

November, 2016 The Education Law Center-PA (ELC) is deeply concerned by ongoing racist, homophobic, xenophobic, and misogynistic rhetoric and incidents in schools. We assure our partners across the state that we will continue holding school districts to their legal obligations to maintain a school atmosphere where students can thrive and do not face fears of…

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Work with ELC: Attorney and Paralegal Positions

The Education Law Center, a statewide nonprofit legal advocacy organization founded in 1975, is seeking: a full-time policy attorney in our office in Philadelphia, PA a full-time staff attorney in our office in Pittsburgh, PA a full-time paralegal in our office in Philadelphia, PA Applicants will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Click here to learn…

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