Allegheny Institute’s Misleading Report Doesn’t Change the Facts: Many low performing schools in Allegheny county are underfunded

By Michael Churchill Last month, the Allegheny Institute analyzed the 43 Allegheny county school districts in a policy brief, arguing that “the very worst-performing school districts are not being shortchanged for resources … all but one of the seven very best performing and top-ranked districts spent less than the state average and far less than […]

“Cutting Through Bone:” PA’s School Funding System Deprives Students Across the State

On July 6, 2018, in a new filing in our school funding lawsuit, we reported that state funding available for classroom expenses in Pennsylvania has declined by $155.3 million since 2013, and spending gaps between wealthy and poor school districts have widened. We filed the brief and affidavits in response to Senate President Pro Tempore Joseph […]

Law Center Files Amicus Brief in School Harassment Case

If the Court of Common Pleas’ narrow interpretations of the Commonwealth’s tolling provision and anti-discrimination statute are left to stand, Pennsylvania children will be unable to hold their schools accountable under state law when they fail to intervene to prevent escalating discriminatory racial and sexual harassment.

Law Center Signs Letter Supporting Nondiscriminatory Administration of School Discipline

The Law Center joins urges Secretary of Education Betsy Devos to retain the U.S. Department of Education’s 2014 guidance on nondiscriminatory administration of school discipline.

New Guidelines Issued by U.S. Department of Education for Parents and School Districts Regarding Individualized Education Programs

The US Department of Education has released new guidance to ensure IEPs for students with disabilities allow all students the chance to reach reasonably challenging expectations. This standard was affirmed by the Supreme Court last March in Endrew F. vs. Douglas County School District.

Pennsylvania’s School Funding Problem is Real

This post is in response to a Capitolwire column entitled “Challenging the argument that PA doesn’t provide for a ‘thorough and efficient system of public education.” Cherry picking numbers to suit your argument has a long pedigree, but it is disappointing to see it such a prominent part of a recent Capitolwire column declaring that […]

Supporting Service Animals for Children with Disabilities

We submitted an amicus brief to the Third Circuit in support of a student who was denied the right to bring her service dog to school. The child, who has epilepsy, uses a service dog trained to detect seizures before their onset and to respond to seizures. In addition, the service dog provides the child […]

Attention Parents with Extended School Year Concerns

In February 2017, the School District of Philadelphia signed a settlement agreement with parents of students with disabilities in which the District agreed to provide individualized determinations for Extended School Year Services (ESY) and to provide services beyond one-size-fits-all, “cookie-cutter” summer ESY programs for those students who need different and/or additional services.  The District also […]

District Proposal Would Establish Segregated School for Students with Disabilities

UPDATE: The School Reform Commission revised and subsequently approved its special education proposal at its July 6 meeting. The new proposal, while improved, still does not go far enough toward advancing inclusion of students with disabilities. Originally, the School District of Philadelphia requested that the School Reform Commission approve a $36 – 54 million dollar contract to establish a new, segregated school […]

US Supreme Court Advances Rights of Special Education Students; Student Supported by Law Center Amicus Brief Prevails

The US Supreme Court unanimously rejected the position of six circuit courts that federal law was met if a school provided “merely more than de minimis” progress to a student with a disability. The decision on March 22, 2017 was in the case of Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District RE-1.