Education Equity

What we do

Over half a century after Brown v. Board of Education, segregation and inequality plague our school system. While wealthy, largely white school districts are flush with resources and provide a world-class education, schools in low-wealth communities – urban and rural, often heavily populated by racial minorities – are unable to provide their students the education they need to secure good jobs and improve their communities.

Today, while continuing to bring litigation, the Law Center focuses on organizing and supporting collaborative campaigns to equalize the educational resources allotted to Pennsylvania’s schoolchildren and to improve educational systems. Here is what we are currently working on:

Investigation into Discriminatory Practices in Upper Dublin

In a complaint filed on November 23 with the U.S. Department of Education, a group of African American parents in Upper Dublin contends that the local school district uses discriminatory practices that result in higher out-of-school suspension rates for black students and disproportionately place black students in lower level curricular programs. Concerned African American Parents (CAAP) alleges the district is violating Title VI of the Civil Rights Act and asks the Department to conduct a full investigation and require remedy of the problems. CAAP has also filed its complaint with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission. READ MORE

School Funding Lawsuit

Pennsylvania’s constitution states that the General Assembly must “provide a thorough and efficient system of public education to serve the needs of the Commonwealth.” Instead, the state has adopted an irrational and inequitable system of funding public education that does not provide the resources students need to meet state standards and discriminates against students based on where they live and the wealth of their local communities. Together with the Education Law Center and a private firm, we are taking legal action on behalf of Pennsylvania’s 1.7 million public school students. READ MORE

Philly Complaints Litigation: Allen v. PDE

In Pennsylvania, all students are legally entitled to certain education services and adequate curriculums. In Philadelphia however, many of these education services are not being fulfilled. We are helping Philadelphia parents sue the state for failing to investigate the issues caused by the funding crisis. READ MORE

Philly Complaints Project

In September 2013, Philadelphia schools began operating on what District officials themselves described as a “Doomsday Budget.” Soon after, the Law Center, Parents United and the Media Mobilizing Project launched, an online portal through which parents have submitted over 825 complaints to the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) documenting dire school conditions. READ MORE

The Campaign for Fair Education Funding

The Campaign for Fair Education Funding works to ensure that Pennsylvania adopts and maintains an adequate and equitable system of funding public education by 2016. READ MORE

Funding in the Chester Upland School District

In January of 2012, the Chester-Upland School District announced that it did not have enough money to continue operating through the end of the school year and without state intervention would be forced to close. READ MORE

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