February News: ELC condemns withdrawal of federal guidance for transgender students; calls for an increase in state education funding; and continues to advocate for immigrant youth
ELC: Reversal on federal guidance protecting transgender students a "disappointing step backwards"
The Trump Administration's withdrawal of 2016 guidance from the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice that affirmed Title IX's protection of transgender students is a disappointing step backward and a cruel refusal to recognize the rights of all students to equal education opportunities and dignity in school.
ELC is quoted in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette regarding the need for Pennsylvania school districts to pass policies protecting transgender students.
ELC reacts to Gov. Wolf's budget: Funding increase welcome but gap remains
ELC welcomed Governor Tom Wolf's proposed increase in state funding for basic, special, and early education funding in Pennsylvania, but noted that significant disparities will remain even if the General Assembly passes the proposed budget. Pennsylvania ranks 46th in state share of K-12 education funding and has the largest gap in the nation between what our poorest and wealthiest districts receive.
Motion to Dismiss Denied; Lawsuit on behalf of older immigrant students moves forward 
Issa, et al., v. School District of Lancaster, a class action lawsuit ELC originally filed with the ACLU of Pennsylvania and Pepper Hamilton LLP in July 2016, alleged that the School District of Lancaster violated the civil rights of older immigrant students by diverting them to an inferior, privately operated alternative school that failed to address their significant language needs. In January, the Third Circuit affirmed a preliminary injunction won on behalf of the named plaintiffs, and earlier this month, the district court judge denied the school district's motion to dismiss with regard to all claims. Accordingly, the case will now move forward with discovery and trial.
ELC speaks on the effect of disparate state funding 
ELC staff attorney Cheryl Kleiman presented on a panel hosted by the Education Policy and Leadership Center on the current education budget and the impact years of inadequate and inequitable state funding has had on students.
ELC joins advocates calling for an end to exclusionary discipline for young learners in Pittsburgh
ELC was proud to join Education Rights Network, t he Local Task Force on the Right to Education (IU2), One Pennsylvania, and others in calling for an end to out-of-school suspensions and expulsions for students in Pre-K through 5th Grade at a Pittsburgh Public Schools Board Meeting this month.
ELC presents on Temple University panel about the school to prison pipeline 
ELC staff attorney Yvelisse Pelotte presented on a panel discussing the way that policies and practices can push Black girls out of school and into the juvenile and criminal justice systems. The panel was co-hosted by the School Discipline Advocacy Service and the Temple University Black Law Students Association.
What we're reading...
  • An investigation by ProPublica detailing how school districts across the country push students into alternative education programs. The article also mentions ELC's complaint against PA before the Department of Justice re: the disproportionate number of students with disabilities and students of color who are sent to discipline programs across the Commonwealth.
  • A story in the Philadelphia Public School Notebook warning of the risks to the federal school lunch program, as well as the impact of one proposal to reduce its funding.
  • An NPR piece on the five ways teachers across the country are talking to their students about 'fake news.'
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