News Releases

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…

More

Judge Sets Oct. 12 Start Date for Trial in Historic Pa. School Funding Lawsuit

Public school students in Pennsylvania will soon have their day in court.  A Commonwealth Court judge has scheduled a trial start date of October 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. Attorneys expect the trial in Harrisburg to last…

More

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…

More

Level Up: A Campaign to Boost 100 Severely Underfunded PA School Districts

Education Law Center, along with a coalition of more than a dozen education advocacy organizations from across the commonwealth, has launched a campaign to increase state funding for the 100 most underfunded school districts in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania has some of the nation’s widest gaps between wealthy and poor school districts. The focus is legislation introduced…

More

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…

More

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…

More

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…

More

Education Law Center Applauds Gov. Wolf’s Call for Charter Reform

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf announced August 13 that he is preparing to introduce regulations and propose new legislation governing the state’s charter schools. The Education Law Center shares his sense of urgency in addressing the issues of poor academic performance, equity concerns, and rapidly growing costs of charters and looks forward to working with state…

More

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…

More

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…

More

ELC Calls on Gov. Wolf to Propose Major Increase in Special Ed Funding

Following on our October report, “Shortchanging Children with Disabilities: State Underfunding of Special Education in Pennsylvania,” the Education Law Center wrote Gov. Tom Wolf in January, urging that his 2019-20 budget proposal include a $400 million increase in state funding for basic education and a $100 million increase in special education funding, to be distributed…

More

Trial in Pa. School Funding Lawsuit Scheduled for Summer 2020

In a breakthrough for efforts to fix Pa.’s broken school funding system, Commonwealth Court has set a schedule for hearing the facts in William Penn et al. v. PA Dept. of Ed. et al. December 6, 2018 – Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court released on Thursday a briefing and trial scheduling order in the lawsuit challenging the state’s…

More