Find out how public school underfunding affects your community with an interactive map
Our leaders in Harrisburg have failed to pay their fair share for public education, leaving local taxpayers to pick up the slack. This creates a system where underfunding is widespread, and the students who need the most get the least, because of where they live. When it comes to public school underfunding in PA, the facts are plain: 86% of the students in PA public schools attend school districts that are not adequately funded according to state law.

What does this underfunding look like in your neck of the woods? We’ve launched a new interactive map that pulls your local numbers to show the size and shape of underfunding in your community, and produces a graphic like this one that you can share on social media. Visit fundourschoolspa.org/findyourdistrict to check it out, and share the facts about your district and Pennsylvania. View a how-to video for this tool here.
New episodes of "Underfunded:" A school funding road trip
New episodes are out now in our deep-dive podcast, "Underfunded: Inside the Fight to Fairly Fund Public Schools in Pennsylvania," hosted by education journalists Meg St-Esprit and Melanie Bavaria! The two latest episodes are a road trip across Pennsylvania, shining a light on what the General Assembly's failure to fully and fairly fund public schools looks like through conversations with students, parents, teachers, and more. Episode 2 features the cities of Allentown and Erie, and Episode 3 highlights suburban and rural communities.

In this clip, former Erie Superintendent Jay Badams recalls laying off hundreds of school staff--and being told in Harrisburg that the solution to his structural budget shortfall was to "do it again." Listen and subscribe to Underfunded wherever you get your podcasts.
Law Center in the News: Chester Upland SD confronts the prospect of charter takeover
On May 8 in the Chester High School auditorium, parents and community members in Chester heard the first public presentations from charter school bidders seeking to take over management of several district schools. The presentations from Global Leadership Academy, Friendship Education Foundation, and Chester Community Charter School (the district's current largest charter operator) provided few details on their plans for financial savings for the district and academic improvement for students--and their proposals have yet to be made available to the public.

We and the Education Law Center are representing parents and the Delaware County Advocacy & Resource Organization who have intervened in this process.

“Throughout this case, [our clients’] primary goal has been transparency, and inclusion. So I think there’s been a sentiment among many parents, not just our clients, that this is all happening without their engagement, involvement — without their approval, without their feeling like this is actually in their best interest and in the students’ best interest," said our staff attorney Claudia De Palma. Read more in coverage from WHYY and the Delaware County Daily Times.
Welcoming new board members!
Our Board of Directors elected two new members at their annual meeting on May 20. Christina Diaz (left) is the head of GSK's Global External Legal Relations Team and a lawyer within the company's Dispute Resolution & Prevention group. Liz Lambert is Senior Managing Director of Huntington National Bank’s National Settlement Team and a member of the American Constitution Society. Congratulations and welcome Christina and Liz!

Help us welcome them by liking their post on Facebook!
Thank you to our departing board members!
We would like to recognize and thank the members of our Board of Directors who completed their terms as members at the board’s annual meeting (clockwise from top left): Nicholas Chimicles of Chimicles Schwartz Kriner & Donaldson-Smith; Matt Glazer of Cozen O’Connor; Michael McKeever of KML Law Group; and Colby Smith of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius. All for members have been indispensable to the work of our organization during their time on the board, and we appreciate all their support. Help us thank them by liking their post on Facebook!  

We would like to extend special thanks to Nicholas Chimicles, who concluded 17 years serving as a board member at our annual meeting. During that time, his stewardship has made us a stronger and more effective organization--culminating in his leadership of our 50th Anniversary Capital Campaign, In Pursuit of Justice. Help us thank him by liking his post on Facebook!
Nick Chimicles, Matt Glazer, Michael McKeever, Colby Smith
Philadelphia City Council must support tenants in its 2021 budget
Support PEPP and RTC
This month, we signed onto a letter asking City Council to fund the Philadelphia Eviction Prevention Program (PEPP) and a Right to Counsel (RTC) for tenants in eviction court. PEPP supports tenants at risk for eviction through a telephone hotline, financial counseling, legal assistance, and other services. As pandemic-driven eviction moratoriums expire in coming months, residents across Philadelphia will be at risk of homelessness and housing instability, yet City Council’s proposed budget reduces funding for PEPP by almost 50% and provides no RTC funding once again. 

Eviction prevention must be prioritized. Before the pandemic, eviction rates in Philadelphia were as high as 1 in 14 renters per year. These impacts do not fall evenly across our city. So far, 74 percent of renters who reach out to the Philadelphia Eviction Prevention Project for help are Black, and research from the Reinvestment Fund shows that landlords are more likely to evict renters in predominantly Black neighborhoods. Reinstating full funding to PEPP and funding RTC will support those at heightened risks of facing eviction, embracing the present opportunity to prioritize keeping Philadelphians safe and stably housed. 
We're hiring!
We are seeking applications for a temporary tenant organizer to lead the work of Renters United Philadelphia. Launched within the Public Interest Law Center, Renters United Philadelphia organizes and educates renters to fight for their rights to quality housing in the streets, in the courts, and in City Hall. You can learn more here: www.rentersunitedphiladelphia.org

The Tenant Organizer directs the organizing work of Renters United Philadelphia. The temporary Tenant Organizer position will run from mid-July through mid-October 2021. The position will cover the current tenant organizer’s work while he is on leave, with overlap with the current organizer to maintain cohesiveness. The ideal candidate will have had experience in a working class base building organization carrying out leadership development, direct action and campaign development. Learn More