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November 2014 Update
Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia  
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Education Update: School Funding Lawsuit
Thorough and Efficient? A video short on Pennsylvania's Education Funding Lawsuit
Thorough and Efficient? A video short on Pennsylvania's Education Funding Lawsuit
Our lawsuit against the state is off and running! State officials have adopted an irrational school funding system that does not deliver the essential resources students need and discriminates against children based on where they live and the wealth of their communities. And, it goes against the General Assembly's constitutional obligation to provide a "thorough and efficient system of public education." That's why together with the Education Law Center-PA, we are representing six school districts, seven parents, the Pennsylvania Association of Rural and Small Schools (PARSS) and the NAACP Pennsylvania State Conference in suing legislative leaders, state education officials, and the Governor. Watch this short video to learn more and follow us on social media to receive breaking updates on this case. 

Law Center Event: Donate on Giving Tuesday, Get a $1-to-$1 Match
Spend purposefully this holiday season by supporting the Law Center's work. Our dedicated Board of Directors is offering $5,000 in $1-for-$1 matching funds to donors who give on Tuesday, December 2nd as part of #GivingTuesdayPHL. This is your chance to double your impact and help vulnerable Pennsylvanians access the services they need to lead healthy lives. Make sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates throughout the day on December 2nd about our progress toward the matching gift.

Lea Knight
Board Member Spotlight: Lea Knight
Our November board member of the month is Lea Knight, senior finance director at Consumer Products Company, a division of Johnson & Johnson Consumer. She is co-chair of the Law Center's Audit-Finance committee, and she serves on the Pension Investment Committee. Congratulate her by liking her post on our Facebook page. Why did she become a board member? "I joined the Board of PILCOP because it has the power to positively touch and change peoples' lives. At our core, we provide access to resources so that all people have the opportunity to lead happier, fuller lives. I am excited to be part of an organization that has such an impact on our community!" Thanks, Lea!
Special Education Update: Extended School Year Class Action Filed
Students with disabilities are eligible for individualized Extended School Year (ESY) services when school lets out for three months over the summer or for a long holiday break. They may need the services because they are learning a crucial skill to be more independent, or they may fall behind without services. We filed a class action lawsuit against the School District of Philadelphia for violating special education law by unilaterally assigning ESY services to students with disabilities without making determinations based on individual student needs. Read more here.
Healthcare Update: Supreme Court to Hear our Right-to-Know Appeal

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court agreed to hear our appeal in a pair of Right-to-Know Law cases related to how the Department of Public Welfare (DPW) uses taxpayer dollars to provide dental care to people enrolled in Medicaid. The Supreme Court's decision to take our case is an important development for case law related to our state's relatively new Right-to-Know Law. The Supreme Court has issued only six decisions ever under the new law, which has been in effect since 2009. It is also an important step toward ensuring that all low-income children across the Commonwealth have access to the dental care they need to lead healthy lives. In Pennsylvania, many low-income children who are eligible for Medicaid never visit a dentist, likely because reimbursement rates are so low that it is difficult for dentists to accept Medicaid patients without losing money. By winning this appeal, we will gain access to financial records that will reveal the full extent of this problem.

Special Ed Conference: Discipline, Disabilities, School to Prison, Disproportionality 
Join us on Saturday, December 13 from 8:30-3:00 to learn how the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act disciplinary protections apply to children with disabilities. Topics will include behavioral assessment, behavioral support programs, over-identification of minority students as needing special education, and avoiding juvenile court involvement. Presenters include: Sonja Kerr; Howard Jordan, ACLU of Pennsylvania; Dr. Karolyn Tyson; Michael Raffaele, Frankel & Kershenbaum, LLC.

Your gift will be matched $1:$1 thanks to a $5,000 Board pledge!!
Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Tuesday, December 2, 2014, 

5:00 - 7:30 P.M.

Saturday, December 13, 2014, 8:30 A.M. - 3:00 P.M.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015, 1:00 - 4:00 P.M.

Support the Law Center's work today!  Click here to donate.