The state has adopted an irrational and inequitable system of funding public education that does not provide the resources students need to meet state standards and discriminates against students based on where they live and the wealth of their local communities.
An estimated 14,000 students in Philadelphia schools are members of families whose primary language is not English. Even though it is mandated by federal and local law, the School District of Philadelphia systemically fails to provide the interpretation and translation services these families need to meaningfully participate in their child’s education.
The Campaign for Fair Education Funding works to ensure that Pennsylvania adopts and maintains an adequate and equitable system of funding public education by 2016.
In a complaint filed on November 23 with the U.S. Department of Education, a group of African American parents in Upper Dublin contend that the local school district uses discriminatory practices that result in higher out-of-school suspension rates for black students and disproportionately place black students in lower level curricular programs.
There are more than 17,000 students enrolled in the School District of Philadelphia who have been identified as having a disability. Each one is legally entitled to have their Individual Education Plan (IEP) team, with their parents, consider their need for Extended School Year services and develop an individualized service plan accordingly.
In September 2013, Philadelphia schools began operating on what District officials themselves described as a “Doomsday Budget.” Soon after, the Law Center, Parents United, and the Media Mobilizing Project launched myphillyschools.com. Through this online portal and through paper filings, Philadelphia parents have submitted over 825 complaints to PDE documenting dire school conditions. The case was settled October 5, 2016.
The Law Center represents parents of children with disabilities in their disputes with Elwyn to ensure that their children receive the services necessary for educational progress.
In June 2014, the Law reached a settlement agreement pursuant to which the District of Philadelphia must notify parents of students with autism in grades K – 8 about the school placement process to ensure that parents have an opportunity to understand and discuss the decision.