Education Law Center
Newsletter | February 2015
Are We Closing the School Discipline Gap?
A new research report from UCLA's Civil Rights Project documents "gross disparities in the use of out-of-school suspension experienced by students with disabilities and those from historically disadvantaged racial, ethnic, and gender subgroups." Two Pennsylvania districts, Woodland Hills and York City, were on the list for the highest-suspending districts for elementary school students, suspending 23.8 percent and 20.9 percent of elementary students respectively, compared to a statewide suspension rate of 2 percent. 

These findings echo ELC's own research in Pennsylvania. The U.S. Department of Justice is currently investigating these disparities, based on ELC's federal claim, specifically for students being sent to Pennsylvania's alternative education programs.

ELC has also partnered with local school districts to bring together administrators, teachers, and staff to work with students, families, and community members to decrease suspensions and create equitable, safe schools for all students. Read about our recent efforts in Pittsburgh to reduce school suspensions featured on the front page of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and quoting ELC attorney Nancy Potter.

CFEF Releases Formula Proposal 

The Campaign for Fair Education Funding this week proposed a student-driven funding formula for basic education that strategically directs resources to students and school districts with the greatest needs and provides the investment necessary to enable every child to succeed academically. 

The Campaign's proposed formula could boost student outcomes in all parts of the state by helping to close funding shortfalls, improve equity, and ensure accountability and efficiency.

Join Us in Court on March 11th
On Wednesday, March 11th at 9:30 a.m., the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania will hear oral arguments in our school funding lawsuit which challenges the legislature's failure to adequately support and maintain Pennsylvania's public school system.

This historic case, which the Education Law Center filed with the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia and pro bono counsel O'Melveny & Meyers, asks the Court to ensure that all students -- including those living in low-wealth districts -- have the basic resources they need to meet state academic standards.

Please come and support us as we fight for vulnerable students and all public school students across the state. The hearing will be held at the Pennsylvania Judicial Center, 601 Commonwealth Avenue, Courtroom 5001 in Harrisburg, PA. If you plan to attend or have questions, contact Spencer Malloy at [email protected]. (The courtroom is walking distance from the Harrisburg Amtrak Station.)
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