Education Law Center | September Newsletter
Students are back to the books and ELC is hard at work ensuring that all children in Pennsylvania have access to quality public education. See below to learn about our case before the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, our new Independence Foundation Public Interest Law Fellow, and more!
Parents, school districts urge PA Supreme Court to hear school funding lawsuit
ELC, along with the Public Interest Law Center and our pro bono partner, filed our brief to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, continuing our legal challenge to the state's broken school funding system. The brief implores the court to recognize its clear duty to enforce the constitutional rights guaranteed to students to a "thorough and efficient system of public education" and to examine the deficiencies of a funding system whereby the ability of students to meet state academic standards has become a function of community wealth rather than a constitutional guarantee. The pleading underscores the wide and unreasonable disparities in school funding between high-wealth and low-wealth school districts that cannot be ignored but must be remedied in accordance with the state constitution's Equal Protection provisions.  

We are extremely grateful to the many individuals and organizations that filed amicus briefs to support the case, including constitutional law professors from the Rutgers University School of Law, the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and the Temple University Beasley School of Law; parent and student groups; and education advocates both statewide and national. 

ELC celebrates forty years of service with advocates and supporters
This month, ELC celebrated its 40th anniversary with an evening at the Crystal Tea Room. A packed house gave a warm reception to our four honorees: Fred Magaziner, Catherine C. Carr, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and Hear Me. We also premiered a new video that features some of our clients sharing their experience with ELC. We are so grateful to the many sponsors and donors who made the night such a great success! 
Attorneys and law students help students denied services at the start of the school year
ELC's client assistance program has fielded hundreds of calls this season as vulnerable students, including students in the foster care system, students experiencing homelessness, students with disabilities, and students navigating the enrollment process, were illegally denied the school services to which they are legally entitled. We're proud that we've been able to tackle so many issues with the help of our wonderful law student interns as school begins in Pennsylvania. 
Join the Campaign for Fair Education Funding
Alongside 50 organizations across Pennsylvania, ELC is a leading 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.
ELC recommends federal Head Start program include services for vulnerable children in new rules
Earlier this month ELC commented on the proposed revisions to the Head Start Performance Standards. In these comments, ELC provides suggestions on how to better serve and meet the needs of young children experiencing homelessness, children in foster care, and children and families with limited English proficiency. ELC's comments also voice support for the proposed regulations' efforts to reduce the use of suspensions and expulsions.

Letter: "Helping students with emotional needs is money well-spent"
ELC Staff Attorney Cheryl Kleiman penned a letter to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette this month on the necessity of improving school services for students experiencing trauma, writing that "well-funded and well-led school districts can change students' lives." 

Help us welcome our new Independence Foundation Public Interest Law Fellow
This month Alex Dutton started a two-year fellowship with the Education Law Center's Philadelphia office. His work will focus on the representation of students cited for truancy in Philadelphia and its surrounding counties. Alex graduated from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and the Temple University Beasley School of Law. At Temple, he was a leader with the School Discipline Advocacy Service, which provides direct advocacy for students in school discipline hearings in Philadelphia. You can read Alex's full biography on our staff page. Alex's fellowship is generously supported by the Independence Foundation. Welcome, Alex! 

Tweet a welcome to: @edlawcenterpa.
Staff Attorney job opening in Pittsburgh
The Education Law Center is seeking an experienced attorney for a full-time position in our Pittsburgh office. Applicants will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

View the full job announcement.
Ensuring access to a quality public education for all children in Pennsylvania
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