Pennsylvania Association for Retarded Citizens (PARC) v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

In 1971, we brought the seminal lawsuit Pennsylvania Association for Retarded Children (PARC) v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the first right-to-education suit in the country, to overturn that Pennsylvania law and secure a quality education for all children. The case quickly settled before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pa., resulting in a consent decree in which the state agreed to provide a free public education for children with mental retardation.

Case Progress

July 1982
The US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania approved the settlement agreement. (Case Documents: Settlement Documents)

June 1981
Trial (Case Documents: Trial Brief of the Petitioners)

October 1976
PARC’s Motion for Finding Contempt Against Philadelphia School District (Case Documents)

May 1972
Court orders "access to a free public program of education and training appropriate to his learning capacities." (Case Documents: Order and Injunction)

January 1971
We filed a complaint against the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. (Case Documents: Complaint)