Mark your calendars: Closing arguments in the PA school funding trial March 10
Mark your calendars! Closing arguments in the PA school funding lawsuit are set for Thursday, March 10, starting at 9:00 a.m. Tune in to the court's livestream here.

These arguments will be the culmination of 14 weeks of trial, 45 days of witness testimony, and years of steadfast efforts of school districts and families across Pennsylvania who sued state officials because they believe a better future is possible for students in our commonwealth’s public schools.

As we've heard throughout the trial, our current school funding system leaves students in low-wealth districts without the support they need to reach their potential. Next Thursday, we'll wrap up our case for why this inequitable and inadequate system, maintained by legislative leaders and other state officials, must change. For the sake of hundreds of thousands of students in Pennsylvania's small towns and big cities, and for the future of our commonwealth, the state legislature must begin to fully and fairly fund public education.

Closing arguments follow the end of witness testimony on February 22, when petitioners called Professor Matthew Kelly of Penn State University to rebut testimony from experts called by legislative leaders in defense of the current funding system. Most of February was devoted to legislative respondents' case. They called 10 witnesses: six expert witnesses (one of whom was withdrawn), a legislative staffer, two cyber charter school leaders, and the CEO of a small private Christian school.

You can catch up on all the details of the respondents' case in the weekly recaps on our website timeline. Their case was also covered in detail by WHYY's Keystone Crossroads.
Resources from Fund Our Schools PA
Our statement on Pennsylvania's new congressional district map
On February 23, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania issued an order selecting the map proposed by the Carter plaintiffs as Pennsylvania’s congressional map for the next decade (pictured above). The Carter plaintiffs brought a lawsuit asking the court to break the impasse between the state legislature and the governor in the redistricting process.

We filed an amicus brief in the case, representing a group of Pennsylvania voters who are deeply committed to free and equal elections, and our staff attorney Ben Geffen argued our position as amici before the PA Supreme Court on February 18. These voters, known as the Ali et al amici, submitted a proposed redistricting plan as part of their brief in the case. We were joined by co-counsel from Common Cause and Dechert LLP. We issued a statement with Common Cause PA on the final map chosen by the court.

"While we are disappointed that our proposed map was not selected, we believe that the Carter plan successfully holds most of the state’s communities of interest together, includes reasonably compact districts, and likely will produce a congressional delegation roughly in line with the preferences of voters across the state," our staff attorney Ben Geffen said. "Fair redistricting is one of the cornerstones of a fair and representative democracy. We appreciate the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania’s close attention to the difficult issues involved in selecting a map."
We filed an amicus brief defending the right to vote by mail, representing Disability Rights PA and Pennsylvania voters
Mail-in voting, used by millions of Americans in every election, is a vital tool for ensuring that all voters can access the ballot box. But since 2020, mail-in voting has increasingly come under attack, even by politicians who previously voted to make it more accessible. We are fighting back.

On February 15, we filed an amicus brief with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, supporting voters' right to choose to vote by mail. Our brief supports an appeal by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania of a decision by Commonwealth Court to strike down Act 77--Pennsylvania's 2019 expansion of mail-in voting. Our clients are voters who would face barriers if this restriction of mail-in voting is upheld: health care workers, military spouses, people with disabilities, and more. We are also representing Disability Rights PA, which works to ensure the right to vote independently and privately for all people with disabilities. We're joined by co-counsel from ACLU-PA and Prof. Jessie Allen.

“Act 77 filled critical gaps in voters’ access to the ballot box, was passed by the General Assembly with near unanimous and bipartisan support, and was signed into law by the Governor,” said our legal director Mimi McKenzie. “In the 2020 presidential election over two million Pennsylvanians voted by mail. This latest partisan attack on voting rights must not be condoned.”
Introducing Steph Davis, our new development associate!
We're so excited to welcome Steph Davis to our staff as our new Development Associate! They are tasked with maintaining the donor database and ensuring our individual givers are well appreciated. They will also be coordinating the annual event.

Steph comes to us with over a decade of sales experience, including their last experience with Katz Radio Group in radio advertising. Help us welcome Steph by liking her post on Facebook!
Law Center in the News: PA School funding lawsuit highlighted in The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal recently highlighted the ongoing Pennsylvania school funding trial, interviewing the superintendent of Greater Johnstown, one of the school district petitioners in the case, and sending a photographer to the district. From the article:

"The district had to close one of its four schools to avoid falling into financial ruin, resulting in students being crammed into the remaining buildings, sometimes in windowless rooms once used as storage closets. “It breaks my heart,” Arcurio said."

For more highlights of press coverage from the start of the PA school funding trial, visit
Board Members Speak Out: Robin Roberts on the PA school funding trial
We're kicking off our "Board Members Speak Out" series, collecting stories and testimonials from members of our board of directors about why our work matters to them. First up, Robin Roberts, part of the leadership collective for Parents United for Public Education and a member of our board since 2019, shares her perspective on our ongoing school funding lawsuit.

"The state is derelict in its obligation to fund public education," Roberts writes. "Pennsylvania’s responsibility to public education has to be more than unlocking the school doors and turning on the lights." Read more on our website.
Our statement on the Governor's budget proposal
We issued a joint statement with our co-counsel in the PA school funding lawsuit, Education Law Center-PA, following the release of Governor Tom Wolf's state budget proposal on February 8. Wolf proposed a $1.75 billion increase in state funding for Pennsylvania's K-12 public schools.

“The governor’s budget proposal is a first step toward repairing a deeply flawed system that shortchanges students and leaves behind low-wealth school districts across the commonwealth,” said our legal director Mimi McKenzie. “But the unmet needs of our students have compounded over decades of insufficient state funding, distributed irrationally, and we need a sustained long-term solution. The legislature should pass this proposal and get to work on a plan to address its constitutional obligation: ensuring that all Pennsylvania school districts and students have the resources they need for quality public education, regardless of local wealth.”