Education Law Center

November News: Statement on students' civil rights; ELC continues to address truancy; using data to improve outcomes for students in foster care
Happy Thanksgiving!
As we celebrate Thanksgiving, we are especially grateful for our partners and supporters. We could not advocate on behalf of the most vulnerable students without you by our side. Best wishes for a happy Thanksgiving! 
- Deborah Gordon Klehr and the  Staff and  Board of the Education Law Center 
Please support ELC this #GivingTuesday
This Tuesday 11/29 is #GivingTuesday, a global movement to inspire people to take action during the holiday season to improve their local communities. Please mark your calendar and consider donating to the Education Law Center! Your support helps us continue our advocacy on behalf of children living in poverty, children of color, children in the foster care and juvenile justice systems, children with disabilities, English Language Learners, LGBTQ students, and children experiencing homelessness. Don't want to wait?  Donate today!
We're committed to protecting students' civil rights
ELC is deeply concerned by ongoing racist, homophobic, xenophobic, and misogynistic rhetoric and incidents in schools. We promise to continue working in the courtroom and in the community to protect the civil rights of Pennsylvania's schoolchildren. Please read our recent statement on the rights of students. 
ELC continues to address truancy 
An article on the state's new truancy rules in the  Philadelphia Inquirer quoted ELC attorney and Independence Foundation Public Interest Law Fellow Alex Dutton. In response to the new legislation's increase in truancy fines and failure to remove the threat of jail time, he said that "increased fines will continue to be imposed upon poor families and families of color and fail to eliminate the barriers to truancy that their children are facing." 
ELC has worked on this issue for years and urged lawmakers to adopt data-driven, evidence-based approaches that we know can effectively prevent and reduce truancy, re-engage students and parents, and make our schools a safe and supportive environment for children and their families.
Lancaster editorial board: truancy "should be decriminalized" 
Citing ELC's commentary and referencing the 2014 death of Eileen DiNino, who was imprisoned in Berks County, PA for failing to pay a truancy fine, the LNP News Editorial Board wrote that: "Truancy is a problem throughout Pennsylvania and varies dramatically from county to county. But criminalization is not now, nor has it ever been, an effective response to truancy." 
Using data to improve educational outcomes 
As part of the Legal Center for Foster Care and Education, ELC co-hosted, along with the Data Quality Campaign, a national expert roundtable on using data to improve educational outcomes for children in foster care. The meeting in Washington D.C. earlier this month focused on how states can implement new data collection requirements under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which requires all states to disaggregate and report on academic achievement and graduation rates for children in foster care. ELC helped lead a discussion about how this data can be used by schools and state education agencies to change policies and improve outcomes for this vulnerable group of students.
ELC continues to meet with students and advocates to reduce exclusion of Black girls from school 
ELC has continued to meet with students and advocates across Pennsylvania on the need for culturally-competent, gender-specific, race-positive policies that counteract the continued pushout of Black girls from schools. In Philadelphia, ELC attorneys Yvelisse Pelotte and Alex Dutton have joined forces with PUSHBACK Philly (pictured here at this month's meeting) - a coalition of Philadelphia-based advocates taking a grassroots approach to understand and end the pushout of Black girls from schools. You can follow @PUSHBACKPhilly to learn more!
ELC joins as amicus in disability rights case before U.S. Supreme Court 
For the first time in more than three decades, the U.S. Supreme Court will consider what level of "educational benefit" a child must receive to satisfy the demands of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act ("IDEA"). The case, Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District, 798 F.3d 1329 (10th Cir. 2015), held that a student with autism received a free appropriate public education because he made "some progress" in school. ELC joined children's rights and disability organizations around the country as amici on behalf of the child to urge the court to uphold a more rigorous standard: one that acknowledges the disability rights precepts and statutory amendments enacted over the last 30 years that guarantee equal opportunities for students with disabilities.
Join us this summer! 
The Education Law Center invites 1Ls and 2Ls to apply for 2017 summer legal internships at our offices in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Applicants should be committed to education access for all students, particularly vulnerable populations. Summer intern responsibilities include: Supporting ELC's direct representation work through handling intake calls; supporting ELC's litigation and legislative advocacy through legal research and writing; and providing other support as needed. Readers: Please share this opportunity widely!   
Join the Campaign for Fair Education Funding
Alongside 50 organizations across Pennsylvania, Education Law Center is a leading member of the Campaign for Fair Education Funding. Click below to read more about our efforts to ensure that every student has access to a quality education no matter where he or she lives.
United Way Donor Choice Codes: 1873 (Southeastern PA)

A copy of the Education Law Center's official registration and financial information may be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State by calling 1-800-732-0999. Registration does not imply endorsement.  
Ensuring access to a quality public education for all children in Pennsylvania
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