Students will have their day in court starting November 12
On Friday, November 12 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania school districts and parents will begin to put on their case against our state legislature and other state officials. They will demand sufficient state funding for public schools, so that all students can receive the quality education that they deserve and that our state constitution guarantees.

For too long in Pennsylvania, a district's local wealth has determined which fourth graders get the help they need in reading, which middle schoolers have safe buildings, and which eleventh graders can prepare for college. Our $4,800 per student funding gap between wealthy and poor school districts is one of the largest in the nation, and the gap is growing. Students of color are concentrated in the lowest-wealth school districts, which are the most deeply underfunded. Our leaders in Harrisburg have ignored the potential of hundreds of thousands of students in low-wealth urban, suburban and rural public schools all across the state.

For too long, our state legislature has passed the buck to local taxpayers. Parents, teachers and community members in low-wealth districts are making herculean efforts for their students, paying higher taxes than their wealthy neighbors and raising their own funds for the most basic educational tools: libraries, laptops, science experiments. But it's not enough. Our leaders in Harrisburg have created a school funding system where the students who need the most get the least, because of where they live.

It’s wrong, it’s unconstitutional and our leaders in Harrisburg are responsible. That’s why we’ve taken the state to court. With your support, we can demand that our state legislature provide enough state funding so that every student can receive a quality public education, whether or not they live in a wealthy community that is able to raise the needed funds with local taxes.
How you can tune in to watch this historic trial unfold
You can follow along at home--the trial will be livestreamed on YouTube. We will be posting the link to watch our school funding case at FundOurSchoolsPA.org/trial -- bookmark this page for easy streaming!
 
On November 12, you will hear opening statements in the case, where we will preview what we’ll prove during trial—that the state legislature’s school funding system violates Pennsylvania’s constitution—as well as the evidence and stories from across the state that will be part of our case. Witnesses will take the stand starting Monday, November 15.

Here is some helpful information as trial approaches.

On November 12 at noon, Children First, Education Voters PA, and ACLAMO Family Centers will be hosting a rally on the steps of the state capitol, "Ring the Bells of Justice on the First Day of PA's School Funding Trial." Bring your own bell, and join supporters of public education from across Pennsylvania. For more information, or to sign up with Children First and Education Voters PA for an event in your community, visit their website.
To protect green space threatened by U.S. Bank liens, immediate action must be taken
Since a failed tax lien sale in 1997, thousands of lots across the city have been encumbered by privately owned tax liens. These liens are expensive and cumbersome, and no City agencies have any control over them--and they pose an imminent threat to green space in neighborhoods across the city.

On October 11, our staff attorney Ebony Griffin highlighted this issues caused by these liens in an op-ed for the Philadelphia Inquirer, detailing concrete steps the city can take to prevent displacement and loss of green space. "As a first step, the city must place an immediate moratorium on sending properties encumbered by these liens to auction, ensuring that beneficial community land uses are protected," she wrote. "In the neighborhoods that need it most, Philadelphia should not allow green space to be sold out from under those who have maintained it for years." Read more.
"Educational Gerrymandering:" USA Today shines a spotlight Pennsylvania's unacceptable educational inequality
On October 7, USA Today published a deep-dive report on housing and educational disparities, focused on Pennsylvania. They highlighted research from Bellweather Education Partners, which looked for "barrier borders" between neighboring school districts with stark gaps in both educational resources and housing affordable. There are 24 of these borders in Pennsylvania, located across the state.

"Pennsylvania – home to a whopping 500 districts – ranks 45th in the country for the share of school funding that comes from the state," reporter Alia Wong writes. "That makes it ripe territory for educational gerrymandering: The less money schools get from their state, the more they have to rely on property taxes." Read more.
Attention Southwest Philadelphia residents: Do you live close to an auto body shop or scrapyard?
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 ejintake@pubintlaw.org to speak with a member of our staff. Visit our website to learn more and to fill out a short survey.
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.

We are also looking for a part-time temporary communications associate. This associate will help maintain communication capacity during the fair school funding trial, predominantly focused on communications support for other areas of the Law Center’s work. This may include cases and projects addressing gun violence, protecting the right to vote, or helping to ensure access to affordable and healthy housing. This part-time position, an exciting opportunity for an early-career communications professional, will last from mid-November to mid-February. 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.