Education Law Center | January Newsletter
ELC is off to a great start in 2016. This month our work included: presenting testimony to the U.S. Department of Education on the Every Student Succeeds Act; representing multiple families unable to access school; and raising awareness around the crucial need for adequately and equitably funded schools in Pennsylvania.
ELC testifies, submits public comments on new federal law

Senior Staff Attorney Maura McInerney testified to the U.S. Department of Education on the implementation of new federal requirements under the Every Student Succeeds Act. You can watch her testimony  here. ELC also recently submitted comments to the Department, which you may download  here.
Op-Ed: "Fully and fairly fund our schools"

This month Nancy A. Hubley, ELC's Pittsburgh Director, co-authored an op-ed published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette emphasizing the immediate need for adequate school funding across Pennsylvania. Read the op-ed  here.

On the radio: ELC featured in #BlackGirlsMatter documentary 

ELC attorneys Leigh Loman and Ashley Sawyer are featured in a short radio documentary set to air nationally on the criminalization of black girls. Two Pittsburgh high school graduates produced the documentary on the need for systemic change and the school-to-prison pipeline. Read more in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette  here.

U.S. DOJ submits Statement of Interest in favor of Limited English Proficient parents and students in T.R. lawsuit

ELC applauds the U.S. Department of Justice for joining with our clients in opposing the School District of Philadelphia's motion to dismiss our claims of discrimination based on national origin and language barriers. The complaint, T.R. et. al. v. School District of Philadelphia, filed by ELC and the Public Interest Law Center, with the support of Drinker, Biddle & Reath, alleges in part that the School District of Philadelphia unlawfully refuses to translate or sufficiently interpret special education and other vital documents, thereby depriving parents of meaningful participation in their children's education.
Letter: Proposed changes to school code would squander new school funding

ELC Executive Director Deborah Gordon Klehr co-authored a letter published in the Philadelphia Public School Notebook decrying proposed changes to the Pennsylvania School Code that would enact sweeping changes to the state's charter school law.  Even if Philadelphia schools receive an additional $100 million in funding, as had been proposed before the recent stalemate, the proposed school code changes and the accompanying charter expansion could result in a net loss for the School District of Philadelphia in as little as 36 months.  Read the full letter  here

Join the Campaign for Fair Education Funding

Alongside 50 organizations across Pennsylvania, ELC is a leading member of the Campaign for Fair Education Funding.  Read more  on our efforts to ensure that every student has access to a quality education no matter where he or she lives. As the budget impasse continues, we urge you to join the Campaign

Feature: ELC assists parent facing truancy citations due to school district's failure to provide transportation
When "Susan" called ELC about her eighth-grade son, she was frustrated. Her son with disabilities was to receive curb-to-curb transportation through his Individualized Education Program (IEP). Yet the bus service was continually late or failed to show up. Rather than resolve the issue, the school district cited her for truancy. ELC's Independence Foundation Public Interest Law Fellow Alex Dutton was able to get the citation dismissed as well as secure compensatory education services for the client and all other students assigned to the same bus route. In addition, he is advocating for systemic reforms to prohibit the filing of truancy citations in these situations and ensure that other families will not confront these issues. As a partner in the Philadelphia Coalition of Special Education Advocates, ELC has helped secure corrective action and compensatory education services for other families in similar situations. Learn more
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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