“Over more than four weeks of testimony, the landmark trial in the challenge to Pennsylvania’s school-funding system has featured superintendents and teachers from rural, urban, and suburban communities describing cash-strapped schools — including Delaware County’s William Penn district — that struggle to meet state academic standards.” Read this recap from the Philadelphia Inquirer’s education reporters.
An episode of Smart Talk from WITF (Harrisburg) reviews the status of the school funding court case with guests Mallory Falk, WHYY Philadelphia education reporter; Brenda Marrero, executive director, Public Interest Law Center; and Deborah Gordon Klehr, executive director, Education Law Center – PA.
Testimony in the Pennsylvania public education funding lawsuit highlighted serious issues facing schools around the Commonwealth. “Witnesses painted a grim picture of what a normal school day looks like for many students throughout Pennsylvania, and how the COVID-19 pandemic made things worse.” Issues dealing with infrastructure like classroom space and capacity, ventilation systems, and more were detailed. Read and watch this report from WENY (Erie).
In 2014, a group of school districts, parents, and advocates embarked on a legal journey that could upend the way Pennsylvania funds its schools. Those petitioners head to court in Harrisburg on Nov. 12. “William Penn School District et al. v. Pennsylvania Department of Education et al. — colloquially referred to as Pennsylvania’s school funding lawsuit — is among the more complicated and consequential legal fights in state history.” Read and listen to this report from WHYY.
Education Law Center executive director Deborah Gordon Klehr wrote, “All Pennsylvanians need to know that our state is failing by inadequately and inequitably funding our schools. Pennsylvania once made a legislative commitment that 50% of education funding would come from the state ‒ but that commitment was not enforced and was abandoned decades ago.” Read her full op-ed published in Pennlive on November 5, 2021.
USA Today reporter Alia Wong analyzes two neighboring Pennsylvania school districts and finds that the schools are funded based on the community’s local wealth, leaving one community at a huge disadvantage.
There is a new start date for the trial in our historic lawsuit challenging Pennsylvania’s school funding system. The date is moved back a month to Oct.12.
The later date allow superintendents and other petitioners who filed the case against state officials additional time to provide up-to-date specifics to supplement the evidence and testimony gathered during earlier stages of the litigation.
Read coverage of the lawsuit and the impending trial from the Times Leader here.
November 6, 2015
Legislature and Governor tell PA Supreme Court it cannot enforce state constitution requiring support of a thorough and efficient system of schools
Harrisburg, Pa. –Attorneys for the state legislature and the executive branch told the Pennsylvania Supreme Court this week that the Court is powerless to decide whether or not the state system of funding public schools violates the state Constitution. Continue reading