April 2017 – A responsible charter school law must empower local governing bodies to strategically control charter growth as a tool to increase quality options and improve our system of public education for all students. The charter school law should not force blind expansion on already burdened systems and compel the loss of neighborhood school options. HB 97 is deficient as it stands. This fact sheet focuses on the key problem areas of this proposed charter reform bill. For ELC’s full response to HB 97, see our letter to the House Education Committee sent on April 24, 2017.
Governor Wolf signed new truancy legislation into law on Thursday, November 3, 2016. Here is an overview of key provisions.
Governor Wolf signed new truancy legislation into law on Thursday, November 3, 2016. This factsheet highlights important provisions of the new law relating to the rights of families, and obligations and roles of schools, courts, and children and youth agencies. Key departures from the prior truancy law are in red.
This fact sheet, updated in March, 2016, covers the basics of school discipline in Pennsylvania. This fact sheet applies to all public schools, including charter schools, in the state.
This fact sheet provides an outline of the rights of English language learners (ELL) and/or families of students with limited English proficiency.
Act 26 is a Pennsylvania law which requires the expulsion for at least one year of any student who possesses a weapon on school property, at a school function, or going to and from school. Many students have faced expulsion as a result of this law. Review the complete fact sheet for more information.
The Education Law Center and Juvenile Law Center have developed a fact sheet to explain important educational decision maker rules, including Pennsylvania’s Juvenile Court Procedural Rules (Rules 1147 and 147) requiring judges to appoint an “Educational Decision Maker” for children who have no parent or guardian to make education decisions for them, or when a court concludes that appointing an EDM is in the best interest of a child.
In addition, under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, school districts have a duty to appoint a “surrogate parent” for children with special education needs under specific circumstances.
The following information guide for parents and guardians provides important information if the School District of Philadelphia wants to transfer a child to an “alternative education program” (such as Camelot or Phase 4) because of a disciplinary incident.
A 2014 ELC Fact Sheet providing legal guidance and resource links for questions about opting out of PSSA and Keystone Exams.
This collection of “tools” is intended to help parents and providers ensure school success for children and youth (ages 3-21) in Pennsylvania who are experiencing homelessness. The toolkit provides information about important laws and explains legal rights and how to use them.
This guide provides clearly explained legal rules for special education and early intervention programs in Pennsylvania for children from ages three to 21.
The Education Law Center’s guide to the rights of English language learners in Pennsylvania’s public schools outlines basic rights for ELL students and their families. It also provides resource links for additional information.
Youth who are experiencing homelessness have special rights under a federal law called the McKinney-Vento Act. This fact sheet provides information and resources for homeless youth regarding their education rights under that federal law.
This step-by-step fact sheet can help older youth enroll themselves in school quickly. It also provides contact information and the necessary forms for school enrollment.
Una hoja informativa que proporciona información a los padres y tutores sobre las normas y procedimientos para la expulsión de los estudiantes de las escuelas del distrito escolar y las escuelas charter.
Aunque que las escuelas públicas tienen amplia libertad para crear reglas, deben seguir sus propias reglas. Por lo tanto, una escuela sólo puede expulsar a un estudiante por una violación de una regla de la escuela, si la escuela la ha adoptado oficialmente y distribuido la regla. Las reglas escolares deben estar inscritos en el Código de Conducta del Estudiante y debe ser publicado y distribuido a todos los estudiantes y padres de familia.
A fact sheet providing information for parents and guardians on the rules and procedures for student expulsions from school district and charter schools.
While public schools have wide latitude to create rules, they must follow their own rules. Thus, a school can only expel a student for a violation of a school rule if the school has officially adopted and distributed the rule. School rules should be listed in a published Code of Student Conduct that should be given to all students and parents.
An ELC Fact Sheet published in November 2011 detailing the history of public school funding approaches in Pennsylvania.