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Resources for Inclusive Schools and Honest Education

Welcoming and inclusive schools that provide honest, accurate information to our children give them the freedom to pursue their dreams and prepare them to fully participate in a diverse society. Today there are organized national and local efforts targeting Black, Brown and LGBTQ students, erasing those populations from the curriculum and programs. These efforts threaten…

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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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U.S. Supreme Court Ruling in Carson v. Makin Has Alarming Implications for PA

The June 21, 2022, U.S. Supreme Court decision in Carson v. Makin mandates that Maine use its public school funds to educate children in private religious schools. Never before has the Supreme Court forced a state to fund religious education. The ruling is antithetical to our country’s history and its long-held commitment to a separation…

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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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On school funding, Pennsylvania is not doing its job. That’s why we’re in court.

Education Law Center executive director Deborah Gordon Klehr wrote, “All Pennsylvanians need to know that our state is failing by inadequately and inequitably funding our schools. Pennsylvania once made a legislative commitment that 50% of education funding would come from the state ‒ but that commitment was not enforced and was abandoned decades ago.” Read…

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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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2021 Back-to-School Guide for Pennsylvania Public School Students

The Education Law Center (ELC) has updated our annual “Back-to-School” guide with publications on various education topics to help families, students, and child-serving professionals. Skip to a particular topic with these links: Affirming & Safe Schools, Free from Racism Student Enrollment School Discipline Addressing Attendance Barriers (Truancy) Bullying & Harassment Students with Disabilities – IEP,…

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ELC Applauds Mask Mandate for Schools, Urges Swift Implementation

The Education Law Center applauded the Wolf administration’s Aug. 31 announcement of a universal statewide mask mandate for all Pennsylvania public schools, effective September 7. The order will create safe learning environments during the pandemic while establishing appropriate exceptions for students and school staff with qualifying disabilities. Masks have proven to be highly effective at…

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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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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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ELC Testifies on Barriers to Education Success before PA Senate Education Committee

ELC staff attorney Hetal Dhagat addressed educational barriers that impact Black and Brown students, low-income students, students with disabilities, and immigrant and refugee students in testimony to the PA Senate Education Committee on April 23, 2021. She spoke at a hearing on K-12 education reforms in Western Pennsylvania, the last of three hearings that the…

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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: The trial start date was ultimately pushed back to Nov. 12.] Attorneys expect the trial to last several…

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