Public Source quotes ELC Attorney Cheryl Kleiman on whether or not arming school personnel increases school safety. Read more.
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.
ELC Staff Attorney Cheryl Kleiman will be honored on July 26th at The Incline’s “Who’s Next in Education” celebration.
ELC Staff Attorney Cheryl Kleiman of ELC’s Pittsburgh Office will be honored on July 26th at The Incline’s “Who’s Next in Education” celebration. The event honors Pittsburgh’s emerging leaders in education. Join ELC as Who’s Next in Education Honors Cheryl
Pencil not a weapon in city schools, appeals court rules
May 2, 2017 – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – by Dan Majors
The pen may be mightier than the sword, but a pencil is not a weapon. Continue reading
Pittsburgh Public Schools claimed a pencil was a weapon and expelled a student. The courts disagree.
May 2, 2017 – The Incline – by Sarah Anne Hughes
A pencil is not a weapon inside a Pittsburgh public school. Continue reading
Commonwealth Court Affirms Lower Court Decision: A Pencil is Not a Weapon
May 2, 2017 – Commonwealth Court issued a decision in S.A. v. Pittsburgh Public Schools yesterday that affirms the decision of the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas that a pencil is not a weapon within the definition of the School Code or the Pittsburgh Public Schools’ Code of Student Conduct. Continue reading
Move to end suspensions of some students gains steam in Pa.
April 19, 2017 – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – by Molly Born
A proposal in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives to end out-of-school suspensions for most elementary students comes as Pittsburgh Public Schools is exploring a plan of its own for its youngest learners. Continue reading
Education Law Center applauds Pittsburgh and Philadelphia School Districts for protecting rights of transgender students
The Education Law Center applauds Pittsburgh Public Schools and the School District of Philadelphia for protecting the rights of transgender students with new policies enacted this month. Continue reading
Program and Administrative Assistant Job Opening in Pittsburgh
The Education Law Center is hiring a Program and Administrative Assistant in its Pittsburgh, PA office. The Program and Administrative Assistant is responsible for general office management and administration, coordination, and contributions to program implementation, communication, and development strategies and other administrative support for three full time attorneys. The Program Administrative Coordinator is a key member of our staff and is involved in all aspects of our work. This position is critical to ensuring that our Pittsburgh office operates efficiently and effectively, and in collaboration with our Philadelphia office, to provide high quality legal services on issues of public education to parents, students, and community advocates across Pennsylvania. This position is to be filled as soon as possible.
Click here to view the full announcement and how to apply.
Click here to view other opportunities to work with ELC.
Education Law Center applauds new Title IX guidance affirming protections for transgender students
May 13, 2016
The Education Law Center applauds the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education for today’s important guidance clarifying that Title IX, the law that bans sex discrimination in federally funded education programs, protects transgender students. It makes clear that transgender students have the right to equal educational opportunities and to be educated in a positive school climate that is free from discrimination.
The Department of Education also released examples of best practices and policies, drawing upon the work that schools and partners across the country are already doing to support transgender students.
Here in Pennsylvania, we recognize Allegheny County Department of Human Services for its work and partnership in fostering collaborative, cross-system conversations about how we can best promote positive educational outcomes for LGBTQ youth in Allegheny County.
We also see Pittsburgh Public Schools leading the way with a new district-wide nondiscrimination policy for transgender students, developed with input from students, parents, educators, and advocates. This policy is in addition to the strengthened protections ELC advocated for in 2014, which resulted in stronger rules against harassment and bullying, more information about how to seek help and support, and a revised dress code that gives students the right to dress in accordance with their gender.
We still have a long way to go towards ensuring that schools are safe, inclusive, and affirming for all students, but today’s guidance represents an important step.
- In April, ELC Staff Attorney Cheryl Kleiman was quoted in TribLive on the need for positive school climate and policies that make schools safe and free from discrimination for all students.
- In 2014, ELC was featured in an article from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette covering the Pittsburgh Public Schools’ effort to decrease the use of exclusionary discipline and increase protections and supports for LGBTQ students, parenting students, and English language learners.
Western Pa. schools craft policies to protect transgender students
Apr. 17, 2016 – TribLive – by Elizabeth Behrman
Ira Weiss encourages his clients to be proactive when it comes to transgender students. Continue reading
Speaker explores mindset of girls involved in fight at University Preparatory HS
Mar. 9, 2016 – TribLive – by Elizabeth Behrman
Before her trip to Pittsburgh, Monique Morris said she read about last week’s brawl involving 30 female students at University Preparatory High School. Continue reading
Save the Date: August 6th School Funding Forum in Pittsburgh
School Funding Forum in Pittsburgh, PA
Thursday, August 6th, 2-4pm
With Hear Me and our western PA partners in the Campaign for Fair Education Funding, the Education Law Center is convening a school funding forum with a focus on the most at-risk students. Join us to hear stories of students directly impacted by a lack of education resources and to discuss the latest updates from Harrisburg. While school funding issues impact all children, we hope this forum will kick-start a dialogue on what school funding means for the most at-risk students whom ELC serves, including students experiencing homelessness or in foster care, English language learners, and students with disabilities.
Location: Gates Hillman Center at Carnegie Mellon University, room 8102. Suggested parking is in the East Campus Garage; here’s a map of walking directions from the garage to the room.
The event is free and open to the public. To join us, please email Staff Attorney Cheryl Kleiman at [email protected].
Pittsburgh schools honor those who help students with disabilities
March 25, 2015 – by Eleanor Chute, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – The board of Pittsburgh Public Schools tonight honored those who have earned Champion Awards for helping students with disabilities. Continue reading
Pittsburgh Board of Ed to Improve Transition Services for Students with Disabilities
Feb. 24, 2015 – The Education Law Center applauds the Pittsburgh Board of Education for passing a resolution that promotes inclusive, comprehensive, and community-based transition services for all students and particularly students with disabilities.
Pittsburgh schools work with community groups to reduce suspensions
Feb. 23, 2015 – By Eleanor Chute, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – Last school year, the number of suspensions in Pittsburgh Public Schools dropped 15 percent over the prior year, but still more than 9,900 suspensions were issued, nearly three-fourths of them to black students.
ELC Testimony to the Basic Education Funding Commission
Oct. 21, 2014 – Pittsburgh | Good afternoon, my name is Cheryl Kleiman and I am a staff attorney with the Education Law Center in Pittsburgh. I appreciate the opportunity to appear in front of the Basic Education Funding Commission on behalf of the parents, students, and stakeholders we serve.
ELC Applauds Pittsburgh Public Schools’ New Code of Student Conduct
Aug. 5, 2014 – The Education Law Center applauds Pittsburgh Public Schools’ new code of student conduct, which reduces harmful zero-tolerance policies that disproportionally impact students of color and students with disabilities, while emphasizing greater protections and supports for English language learners, LGBTQ students, and parenting students. The PPS School Board adopted the changes at its meeting on Aug. 4, 2014.
The new policy will go into effect when school resumes later in the month.
Proposed changes in Pittsburgh schools’ student conduct code emphasize progressive and positive discipline
July 20, 2014 – by Eleanor Chute, Pittsburgh Post Gazette – The board of Pittsburgh Public Schools will vote Wednesday on Code of Student Conduct revisions that replace zero tolerance with more discretion, incorporate ideas from a student-proposed bill of rights and provide explicit protection of students for sexual orientation and gender identity expression.
Cheryl Kleiman, an attorney with Education Law Center, which worked with the district on the proposal, said this version eliminates remaining zero tolerance policies and allows individual discretion.
Class project: The city schools’ conduct code is due for a rewrite
June 22, 2013 – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Editorial –
Most student offenses should be dealt with by the school. Others are serious enough to refer to the legal system. But the Pittsburgh Public Schools’ Code of Student Conduct hardly seems to know the difference.
Read the full story: