News Releases

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…

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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 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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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…

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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…

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Education Law Center Names New Policy Director

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 19, 2018 Contact: Paul Socolar, Education Law Center, 215-906-1250, [email protected]   Education Law Center Names New Policy Director Philadelphia – The board and staff of the Education Law Center-PA are thrilled to announce that Reynelle Brown Staley, Esq., has been named ELC’s policy director. “Since joining ELC’s staff in August 2017,…

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In New School Funding Lawsuit Filing, Gov. Wolf Says More Funds Are Needed

In our ongoing legal challenge to the constitutionality of Pennsylvania’s school funding system, we filed a brief in Commonwealth Court in July, rebutting Senate President Pro Tempore Joseph Scarnati’s claim that the adoption of a school funding formula in 2016 renders the case moot. In briefs filed August 3, Gov. Tom Wolf also rejected the…

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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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Education Law Center Applauds Change in Philadelphia’s Student Discipline Policy

ELC has long advocated for alternatives to out-of-school suspensions of young children; they are not age-appropriate and do not make schools safer. Suspensions of kindergartners were banned in Philadelphia in 2016. The District’s School Reform Commission in June 2018 formally changed the School District’s student conduct and discipline policy, extending the existing ban on out-of-school…

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Pennsylvania’s New Budget: For Education, Barely a Start

Pennsylvania has an on-time budget for 2018-19, approved by the legislature and signed by Gov. Wolf on June 22. It provides modest but needed new funding for Pennsylvania’s schoolchildren. While the additional dollars for schools help, this budget increase provides only a small fraction of what is needed for an adequately and equitably funded statewide public…

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Education Law Center Submits Testimony on School Safety to PA House Education Committee

The Education Law Center submitted testimony to a March 15, 2018, Pennsylvania House Education Committee hearing on school safety. We urge officials to reject militarized responses to school violence and to focus instead on strategies to foster a school climate that is supportive of all students and attentive to students experiencing trouble or trauma. The…

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Pennsylvania’s Landmark School Funding Lawsuit Heads Back to Court

Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court will hear oral arguments next Wednesday in a landmark lawsuit challenging inequitable and inadequate school funding in Pennsylvania. Attorneys from the Education Law Center and the Public Interest Law Center will ask the Court to reject remaining preliminary objections and a motion to dismiss asserted by the legislature so that the case…

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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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