School Funding Lawsuit

Together with the Education Law Center and O’Melveny & Myers LLP, we filed suit on behalf of six school districts, seven parents, the Pennsylvania Association of Rural and Small Schools (PARSS) and the NAACP Pennsylvania State Conference against legislative leaders, state education officials, and the Governor. We are asking for a court order that will force the legislature to comply with the state constitution and ensure all students receive access to a high-quality public education.

Along with the Education Law Center, we have launched a new website and newsletter, Fund Our Schools PA, where we will share regular updates on the case, stories and data on the effects of state education underfunding in Pennsylvania, and ways for advocates to get involved. Visit FundOurSchoolsPA.org.

Thorough and Efficient?

A video on Pennsylvania’s Education Funding Lawsuit

Case Resources

Case Progress

July 2021
Judge In Commonwealth Court PA School Funding Case Rules To Allow Evidence About Racial Impact Of Underfunding

June 2021
Our statement on the 2021-2022 Pennsylvania state budget

June 2021
Scheduling Order: Trial in Pennsylvania School Funding Lawsuit Will Begin September 9 in Harrisburg

April 2021
Trial in Pennsylvania School Funding Lawsuit on Track to Begin in September

February 2021
We release a statement following Governor Tom Wolf's historic proposal to boost school funding by $1.55 billion

October 2020
Our expert report calculates that PA schools are underfunded by $4.6 billion, according to state law

May 2020
A new order granting an extension in the case schedules fact discovery to conclude by July 16 and expert reports to be served by September 14. Trial is set for 2021.

November 2019
In new scheduling order, trial in PA school funding lawsuit tentatively scheduled for Fall 2020.

December 2018
Trial in PA School Funding Lawsuit Scheduled for Summer 2020

August 2018
Commonwealth Court dismisses Senator Scarnati’s motion that the case was rendered moot by the adoption of a fair funding formula in 2016.

August 2018
In new school funding lawsuit filings, Governor Wolf says more funding is needed, while Senator Scarnati fails to dispute growing disparities.

July 2018
As part of our response to Senator Scarnati's mootness application, the six school district petitioners in the lawsuit each filed affidavits, reporting continued painful cuts to education.

July 2018
In response to Senator Scarnati's mootness application, new filing shows decreased classroom spending and widening inequities since the lawsuit was filed

May 2018
Commonwealth Court overrules preliminary objections

March 2018
Recap of March 7 oral argument

March 2018
Oral argument March 7 on remaining preliminary objections and a motion to dismiss

January 2018
Pa.'s Governor asks court to expedite lawsuit

September 2017
Pennsylvania Supreme Court Orders Commonwealth Court to Hold Trial on Whether State Officials are Violating the State’s Constitution by Failing to Adequately and Equitably Fund Public Education

September 2016
Pennsylvania Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument for Fair Education Funding Lawsuit

September 2016
Pennsylvania Supreme Court to Hear Oral Argument for Fair Education Funding Suit

April 2016
Pennsylvania Supreme Court grants oral argument (set for September 2016).

February 2016
City of Philadelphia files Amicus Brief

November 2015
Case is fully briefed before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court

May 2015
We appeal to Pennsylvania Supreme Court

April 2015
Commonwealth Court dismisses case, noting courts cannot get involved in school funding issues

March 2015
Commonwealth Court hears oral argument

November 2014
We filed suit in Commonwealth Court