Education Law Center
Newsletter | March 2015

PA Ranks Worst in School Spending Disparity:

Support Our School Funding Lawsuit  

On the day following our March 11 oral argument in William Penn School District, et al. v. Pennsylvania Department of Education, et al., we learned that Pennsylvania ranks first in school spending disparity according to data analyzed from the National Center for Education Statistics. State and local per-pupil spending in the Commonwealth's poorest school districts is 33 percent lower than per-pupil spending in the state's most affluent school districts - the highest differential in the countryRead the Washington Post article. 


As the school funding lawsuit filed by the Education Law Center, the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia, and O'Melveny & Myers LLP continues to wind its way through the court system, we thank all of those who continue to support this lawsuit that challenges the state's failure to adequately and equitably fund Pennsylvania's public schools to ensure that all students are able to meet state academic standards. 


See media coverage about the lawsuit:

Legal Center Holds Roundtable on Education for Children in Foster Care

As a partner in the Legal Center for Foster Care and Education, ELC facilitated a national expert roundtable on developing and supporting evidenced-based policies to improve educational outcomes for children in foster care.  This convening initiated a new dialogue between researchers and policy advocates regarding how data and research can be used to effectively inform and support policy advocacy and to identify what research might be undertaken to support current national advocacy efforts.

In Their Own Words 

Nancy E. Potter, ELC Staff Attorney, published a Letter to the Editor in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette arguing that we must address disparities in school discipline and reduce suspensions. Read more...


Maura McInerney, ELC Senior Staff Attorney, published an op-ed in the Philadelphia Public School Notebook explaining why assitive technology should be available in Philadelphia schools. Read more... 

Campaign for Fair Education Funding

Alongside 40 organizations across Pennsylvania, ELC is a member of the Campaign for Fair Education Funding. Read more on our efforts to ensure that every student has access to a quality education no matter where he or she lives.


We're planning our 40th Anniversary Celebration! If you're interested in sponsorship opportunities, email 
[email protected] for more details.

ELC Managing Attorney Nancy A. Hubley Honored by Pittsburgh Local Task Force as "Community Champion"

Managing Attorney Nancy A. Hubley, PPS Superintendent Dr. Linda Lane, and PPS Board President Thomas Sumpter
On Wednesday, March 25th, the Board of Pittsburgh Public Schools honored Nancy Hubley with the Community Champion award for her tireless advocacy on behalf of children in the Pittsburgh Public Schools and across Pennsylvania. The annual Champion Awards are made by the Pittsburgh Local Task Force (LTF), an organization of parents and educators advocating for all students with disabilities. For years, ELC has worked collaboratively to strengthen and support the Pittsburgh LTF, with a special focus on supporting and expanding parent leadership. 

ELC's project, the Education Law Pro Bono Collaborative, was also recognized by the Board with an award to our pro bono partner Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP. Morgan Lewis & Bockius attorneys have staffed ELC's Education Rights Legal Clinics since 2012 and helped recruit other pro bono attorneys from FedEx Ground to help families better understand their legal rights and navigate the public education system. We congratulate our partner on their excellent work and well-deserved award.

Media coverage of the awards is available here

ELC Stoneleigh Emerging Leader Fellow Ashley Sawyer holds training in Norristown, PA

Maheem Kaleem, co-founder of Pennsylvania Lawyers for Youth (PALY), and ELC Stoneleigh Emerging Leader Fellow Ashley Sawyer.  

On March 26, 2015, ELC Stoneleigh Emerging Leader Fellow Ashley Sawyer helped facilitate an education "Know Your Rights" training in Norristown,
 PA with Pennsylvania Lawyers for Youth (PALY)


PALY is a non-profit founded to do community-responsive advocacy for Pennsylvania's youth in the juvenile justice system. Using tools that ELC has developed, Ashley and PALY helped educate parents and community members about these students' right to re-enroll in public school, their right not to be sent automatically to alternative disciplinary placements, and a number of other important education challenges.


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