News Releases

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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ELC Opposes Tamaqua Area School District Decision to Arm School Personnel

The Education Law Center-PA stands with the Tamaqua Area Education Association and many in the Tamaqua school community in opposing their school district’s new policy allowing teachers and administrators to carry guns. The presence of guns in schools and arming of untrained school staff pose significant safety risks to schoolchildren and communities and are not…

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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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Open Letter to the Mayor on Philadelphia School Board Nominations

The return of the School District of Philadelphia to local control and the formation of a nine-member school board over the next few months present a unique opportunity to put Philadelphia’s schools on a positive course. Based on our close work with Philadelphia students and families, we wrote the nominating panel and the mayor to…

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OCR Opens Investigation into Claims of Discrimination against School District of Philadelphia for Failing to Address Bullying of Children with Disabilities

On November 28, 2017, the United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) announced that it has opened an investigation into claims of discrimination filed by the Education Law Center-PA (“ELC”) regarding the School District of Philadelphia’s treatment of children with disabilities who have been bullied and harassed. ELC’s Complaint, filed July 27,…

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Advocates Condemn Anti-LGBTQ Action

Education Law Center, PFLAG Pittsburgh, and SisTers PGH released a joint statement on October 5, 2017, in response to planned protests in Allegheny County by the anti-LGBTQ Westboro Baptist Church.  Read the statement here.  

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Maura McInerney, Esq., Appointed ELC’s New Legal Director

The Board and Staff of the Education Law Center are thrilled to announce that Maura McInerney has been named ELC’s Legal Director! Maura, an attorney at the Education Law Center since 2007, has over thirty years of litigation experience in the private and public sectors.  Maura’s appointment is an exciting new development as we continue…

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Education Law Center Challenges School District of Philadelphia’s Failure to Address Severe Bullying of Students with Disabilities

PHILADELPHIA, PA (July 27) Yesterday, the Education Law Center-PA (“ELC”) filed a Complaint with the United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) alleging a systemic failure by the School District of Philadelphia (“District”) to promptly and appropriately address pervasive and severe bullying of students with disabilities. “Sadly, students with disabilities are far…

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Education Law Center Statement on the Pennsylvania General Assembly’s Proposed 2017-18 State Budget

June 30, 2017 PHILADELPHIA, PA – Deborah Gordon Klehr, Executive Director of the Education Law Center, released the following statement today in response to the Pennsylvania General Assembly’s proposed 2017-18 state budget: “The Pennsylvania General Assembly has sent Governor Tom Wolf a compromise state budget agreement that provides some needed new funding for education, including…

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