May 20, 2015 – Matt Miller, The Patriot News / PennLive – A coalition of parents, school districts and public interest groups filed an appeal Wednesday with Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court challenging the Commonwealth Court’s dismissal of its lawsuit over state education funding. Continue reading
May 20, 2015 – David Limm, Philadelphia Public School Notebook – Several school districts, parents, and groups have taken a lawsuit alleging Pennsylvania’s school funding system to be unconstitutional to the state Supreme Court. Continue reading
May 21, 2015 – Solomon Leach, Philadelphia Daily News – A LAWSUIT ACCUSING the state of failing to adequately and equitably fund education is headed to the state Supreme Court.
May 20, 2015 – by Eleanor Chute, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – Six school districts, seven parents and two statewide associations have taken to the state Supreme Court their case to force the state to provide adequate and equitable school funding for all children. Continue reading
April 21, 2015 – by Solomon Leach, Philadelphia Daily News – COMMONWEALTH Court yesterday dismissed a lawsuit accusing the state of failing to adequately and equitably fund Pennsylvania public schools.
The complaint was filed by six school districts, seven parents, the Pennsylvania Association of Rural and Small Schools and the NAACP Pennsylvania State Conference, who said they plan to appeal to the state Supreme Court.
“This is a question of paramount importance to all Pennsylvanians, and we always knew this would ultimately be decided by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court,” Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia executive director Jennifer Clarke, a member of the legal team representing the plaintiffs, said in a statement.
The suit, filed in November, argued that former Gov. Tom Corbett, state lawmakers and the state Department of Education violated their constitutional obligation to provide all students with the opportunity to pass state-mandated academic standards. Oral arguments were held last month.
The ruling is the latest in a long line of Pennsylvania state court decisions affirming that school funding is a function of the Legislature and executive branch, and therefore not a matter for the courts.
Since the previous rulings, Pennsylvania adopted the Keystone exams as a graduation requirement and completed a costing-out study setting levels for what each school district needs to provide an adequate education.
Nonetheless, the court’s opinion, written by President Judge Dan Pellegrini, said those changes “do not confer funding discretion upon this court nor provide us with judicially manageable standards for determining whether the General Assembly has discharged its duty under the Constitution.”
Meanwhile, a group of Pennsylvania lawmakers is working to propose a fair-funding formula that would likely provide poorer school districts with a higher percentage of state aid and reduce funding to wealthier districts.
April 21, 2015 – by Karen Langle, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Harrisburg Bureau – HARRISBURG — A panel of judges ruled Tuesday that the power to make decisions on school funding rests with the General Assembly and not the courts. Continue reading
April 21, 2015 – by Joel Mathis, Philadelphia Magazine – A Commonwealth Court ruling overturning a challenge to Pennsylvania’s method of funding schools will be appealed to the state’s Supreme Court, education activists said Tuesday afternoon. (See the ruling below.) Continue reading
April 21, 2015 – by Kristen A. Graham and Martha Woodall, Philadelphia Inquirer – A lawsuit contending that Pennsylvania’s system of school funding is broken will move to the state’s top court, attorneys vowed Tuesday after a lower court dismissed the case brought by school districts, parents, and advocates. Continue reading
Commonwealth Court Refuses to Review Whether School Funding Complies with State Constitution
Harrisburg, Pa. – The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania today issued an order in the lawsuit challenging the state’s failure to adequately and equitably fund Pennsylvania’s public schools. The lower court interpreted prior state Supreme Court precedent as eliminating any role for the courts in overseeing whether the legislature complies with the state constitution on school funding questions. Continue reading
March 25, 2015 – by Sue Ann Rybak, Chestnut Hill Local – If you ask any parent with a child in the Philadelphia School District whether they think Pennsylvania’s current system of funding education is fair, I doubt that many would agree.
March 18th, 2015 – National Opportunity to Learn Campaign – While Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and the state legislature argue over his proposed budget increase for education, some districts and parents are taking another route to fight for increased funding for their schools: the courts.
March 12, 2015 – by Laura Benshoff and Dale Mezzacappa, Philadelphia Public School Notebook – Judges must order Pennsylvania’s governor and legislature to guarantee the constitutional right of every student to a “thorough and efficient” education, attorneys told a Commonwealth Court panel Wednesday. Continue reading
March 11, 2015 – by Kara Newhouse, LancasterOnline – As long as public schools are open and running, the state Legislature is meeting its constitutional obligation, argued legal representatives for state officials on Wednesday. Continue reading
March 11, 2015 – by Jan Murphy, Patriot News – Saying just turning on the lights and keeping the school doors open falls short of the Legislature’s constitutional obligation of providing a “thorough and efficient” education, education advocates argued that is why the court needs to intervene. Continue reading
March 12, 2015 – by Karen Langley, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – HARRISBURG — Seeking to stymie a legal challenge to how Pennsylvania pays for its public schools, lawyers for the state told a panel of judges Wednesday that education funding is not a matter for the courts to decide. Continue reading
March 11, 2015 – by Katie Kyros, Fox43 – On Wednesday, attorneys for Pennsylvania school districts made arguments in Commonwealth Court that education funding in the state is so low, it’s unconstitutional. Continue reading
March 11, 2015 – by Joel Mathis, Philadelphia Magazine – It’s time for Pennsylvania’s courts to force the state legislature to properly fund state schools, attorneys representing a coalition of money-hungry school districts argued today before the Commonwealth Court at Harrisburg. Continue reading
March 11, 2015 – by Kristen Graham, Philadelphia Inquirer – Pennsylvania’s system of education funding is broken, and the courts must force lawmakers to make it right, attorneys for school districts, parents, and organizations that have sued the commonwealth told a panel of judges here Wednesday.
March 11, 2015 – Parents, advocates, and school district personnel descended on Commonwealth Court today to hear arguments against legislative leaders, state education officials, and Pennsylvania’s Governor for failure to uphold the state’s constitutional obligation to provide a thorough and efficient system of public education. Continue reading