Ensuring Equal Access

Over 34,000

During the 2021-22 school year, 34,043 students experienced homelessness in Pennsylvania, an all-time high for the state.

Equal access issues have historically been a large part of ELC’s work. Access issues involve either the total exclusion of a child from school, or the exclusion of some groups of children from services and programs they need to succeed.

Our work in this area includes promoting policies that support and affirm students and safeguard students’ rights and fighting against systemic racism and discrimination. Some examples of the issues we address include: unfair residency rules that disproportionately harm children experiencing homelessness and those in foster care; refusals to support and fully include children with disabilities; failure to provide supports and address language barriers affecting immigrant students and English learners; discrimination and harassment against students of color and LGBTQ+ students; and denial of education to children in residential and hospital placements.

With attacks against students’ rights and public education intensifying, ELC’s vigilance in protecting children against illegal barriers is more critical than ever.

Fact Sheet

Cyberbullying: Fact Sheet

Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place over digital devices including computers, cell phones, and tablets. The same rules that require...Read More



Sex- and Gender-Based Discrimination in Students’ Facilities Access Violates State and Federal Law

There is no legal basis for a school district to prohibit students from using the school bathroom or locker room...Read More


Current Law & Policy

Testimony: Meeting the Needs of Students who Experience Bullying in the School District of Philadelphia

Bullying and harassment are pervasive problems across the United States, Pennsylvania, and in Philadelphia public schools. Every week, ELC hears...Read More