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February 2015 Update
Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia  
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School Funding Lawsuit Update: Oral Argument Scheduled for 3/11
Attorneys and Petitioners in this lawsuit
On February 17, we, along with O'Melveny & Myers and Education Law Center, filed our brief in opposition to the state's preliminary objections in our school funding lawsuit. This marks our final brief in this stage of the lawsuit. Next, Commonwealth Court judges will hear oral argument on Wednesday, March 11th, after which the court will make a decision in the case. Now we need your help! It is important for the court to see that there is widespread, public support for the goal of this lawsuit--full, fair funding for public education. Join us in the courtroom on March 11 and show your solidarity for a thorough and efficient system of public education in Pennsylvania. 

Education Briefing: The State of Public Education Funding in PA
Join Law Center attorneys on Tuesday, March 17th, from 8:30-10:00 a.m. for a briefing on the basics of education funding, a recap of the March 11th oral arguments in the school funding lawsuit, information on the new administration's budget proposal and more. There are limited spots available for this free event. 1.5 CLE credits will be offered to participating attorneys. Click here to register.

Donor Spotlight: Law Center Receives Major Donation from Former Board Chair Barry F. Schwartz

The Law Center is pleased to announce a major gift from Mr. Schwartz, executive vice chairman of MacAndrews & Forbes, to support our public education work. Mr. Schwartz served on our Board of Directors from 1984 - 1989. About his recent contribution, Mr. Schwartz said, "The Law Center's dedicated attorneys take on the biggest problems facing the city and deliver for those most in need. I am deeply grateful for all the Law Center does and proud to support its work." Click here to read more

Pro Bono Spotlight: Michael McCalley, Duane Morris LLP
Photo: Norris Square Neighborhood Project; one of the communities Michael has supported
Our February pro bono partner of the month is Michael McCalley, special counsel at Duane Morris LLP. Michael practices in the area of real estate law. He has been a big help with the Law Center's Garden Justice Legal Initiative. He said about his volunteer work: "Since the start of my career with the firm, Duane Morris LLP encouraged its attorneys to undertake pro bono assignments. It is rewarding to know that our efforts are helping to preserve local community gardens, which offer so much to both the neighborhoods they serve and Philadelphia at large." Congratulate Michael by liking his post on our Facebook page. 

Healthcare Update: Law Center Fights to Uncover Medicaid Rates

Running Pennsylvania's Medicaid program costs more than $20 billion per year and accounts for one-third of the state's general fund budget. Most Medicaid expenditures flow through private health insurance companies before reaching physicians and dentists who treat low-income children, people with disabilities, and other Medicaid enrollees. Now, the nation's largest insurance companies are fighting the Law Center in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to keep this flow of public money under wraps. Click here to learn more about the Law Center's 3 1/2-year battle to uncover these rates.

Board Member of the Month: Ellen Meriwether
Ellen Meriwether
Ellen Meriwether has been a litigation partner with Cafferty Clobes since its inception in 1992 and has quickly become an active member of the Law Center Board of Directors since joining in 2014. She is co-chair of the 2015 Event Committee, which will look to build on the tremendous success of our 2014 Annual Event. She said, "Almost 25 years ago, in my first year of practice, I learned about PILCOP and the incredible work it was doing on behalf of our under-represented communities. I have found my involvement with PILCOP to be one of the most rewarding experiences of my professional career." Click here to congratulate Ellen for becoming our February board member of the month!
Special Ed Training: Two Seminars in March
We hope to see you in March for two special education seminars. First, on March 24 from 1-4 PM, learn about the requirements of Pennsylvania law governing gifted children and practical tips for ensuring gifted children get services at "Leaving Gifted Kids Behind." Then, on March 27, join us and presenter Dr. Joan Duvall-Flynn of the NAACP Pennsylvania State Conference for "Children with Emotional Problems." This session will help you learn how to navigate special education in order to assist children at home or not receiving sufficient services, those in foster care, or in the juvenile court system.
Law Center News: Follow us on Social Media and Further Reading
What you see here is only a portion of the work the Law Center has done over the past month. You can read more about our work below, but make sure to follow us on social media for daily updates!

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