Today is Giving Tuesday! Your support can go twice as far.
Today is the day! #GivingTuesday is a worldwide movement to celebrate the causes and organizations that make a difference in our lives, and one of the most impactful days of the year to support our work.

Please consider supporting our work taking on discrimination and poverty today. On this #GivingTuesday and for the rest of the year, when you designate your donation to support the historic school funding lawsuit, it will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $100,000! Other support will not be matched, but will help us continue to fight alongside our clients, who stand up for safe housing, the unencumbered right to vote, environmental justice, and other civil, social, and economic rights. We could not do this work without supporters like you--thank you!
The PA school funding trial is in full swing
The historic trial taking on the general assembly's inadequate and inequitable school funding system resumes today, Tuesday, November 30 at 9:00 a.m., after a break for Thanksgiving week. Tune in via the court’s livestream on Youtube! Today, Matthew Stem, the former top K-12 official for the PA Department of Education will take the stand, followed later this week by witnesses from Greater Johnstown School District.

During the first week of witness testimony, Superintendent David McAndrew and 5th grade history teacher Tara Yuricheck of Panther Valley, a rural district in Carbon and Schuylkill Counties, took the stand to share the effects of inadequate state funding on their district.

The court then examined the statewide structure of school funding. Professor Derek Black of the University of South Carolina School of Law discussed the history of the Pennsylvania state constitution's education clause as it was drafted during the state’s 1872-73 constitutional convention. Dr. Matthew Kelly, a school finance expert from Penn State College of Education, explained his analysis showing that PA schools are collectively underfunded by $4.6 billion.
Updates and other resources from Fund Our Schools PA
A win for housing stability: taking on source of income discrimination
The Law Center recently succeeded in securing lease renewals for tenants with physical disabilities whose landlord threatened them with the loss of their housing because they use a federal housing assistance voucher. The arbitrary lease non-renewals these tenants faced violated both the Philadelphia Fair Practices Ordinance as well the Fair Housing Act.

Source of income discrimination, which perpetuates housing instability and all its consequences, is commonplace in Philadelphia. It is critical to the health and wellbeing of all Philadelphians that laws protecting people from all forms of discrimination are regularly enforced. Read more on our website.
Tire fire raises concerns about City's emergency response processes
On November 9, a massive pile of tires in a Southwest Philadelphia junkyard caught fire, releasing acrid smoke across the City. The Philadelphia Citizen reported on the City's poor response during and after the fire. Per article co-author Christina Rosan, her home air quality monitor registered dangerous particulate matter numbers far higher than what is safe to breathe in. Not only did the City severely underutilize its emergency alert system, but it still maintains that there were no harmful effects resulting from the fire. 

These environmental hazards are a stark manifestation of environmental injustice experienced by residents of communities of color and poor communities every day. "Unkempt and contaminated auto body shops in Southwest Philly are so bad, for example, that even the Public Interest Law Center is conducting a resident survey to determine next step legal and policy recourse," the authors write. "And that feeling of powerlessness? That worsens once we get deeper into Blacker, Browner and lower-income zip codes where these types of environmental calamities happen quite frequently, but on a smaller scale, while the City infamously shrugs on about it."

Attention Southwest Philadelphia residents: Do you live close to an auto body shop or scrapyard? We would like to learn more about how your quality of life is impacted by the large number of auto-related businesses in Southwest Philadelphia. You have the right to enjoy your home.

If you or someone you know lives close to an auto body shop or scrapyard, please call the Law Center at (267) 546-1307 ext. 227 or email to speak with a member of our staff. Visit our website to learn more and to fill out a short survey.
Law Center in the News: Catching up on the first week of the school funding trial in the Philadelphia Inquirer
The Philadelphia Inquirer summarized the first week of the PA school funding trial with seven key takeaways, including racial disparities across school districts, flaws in the funding formula, and the deep inadequacies of student materials, such as highly outdated textbooks.

The article quotes Penn State education professor Matthew Kelly, who stated that. “Half of Black students and 40% of Hispanic students in Pennsylvania attend schools in the poorest fifth of districts…And 80% attend schools that would receive more funding if the state’s formula were properly applied.”

For more highlights of press coverage from the start of the PA school funding trial, visit
Law Center's Mimi McKenzie featured in Erie News Now
Erie News Now recently spoke with our legal director Mimi McKenzie about the Pennsylvania school funding system and our ongoing trial.

“Education shouldn’t be a zero-sum game,” McKenzie said, “You need to create a system that adequately provides for all of the school districts to have the resources that they need for children to be college and career ready.”
We're hiring!
We are currently seeking a development associate. Join a dynamic development team at the Law Center. The Law Center’s development team is poised for growth, and the Development Associate position is perfect for an ambitious entry-level fundraiser, eager to gain experience with direct solicitation and revenue generation. This is a full-time position with a competitive compensation and benefits package. Learn more about the position and how to apply.

The Law Center is an equal opportunity employer and encourages all candidates to apply regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, or status with regard to public assistance.