This year, the Law Center is participating in #GivingTuesday, a global giving movement that has been built by individuals, families, organizations, and businesses around the world. Millions come together every year to support and champion the causes they believe in and the communities in which they live. #GivingTuesday falls each year on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, which this year is November 30, 2021.
This Giving Tuesday, and for the rest of the year, you can double your impact for public education: any donations designated towards our school funding lawsuit will be matched $1 to $1 up to $100,000, thanks to generous donors! Donations not designated for the school funding lawsuit, while greatly appreciated and essential for our work, will not be matched.
The long awaited trial in the Pennsylvania school funding lawsuit began on November 12, 2021. Lawyers at the Law Center, their clients, and their supporters have spent years preparing for this trial to fight for fair funding and equitable public education for every student in the Commonwealth. Currently, a child’s quality of education in Pennsylvania is tied to their ZIP code’s local wealth, determining which students learn in safe buildings, which students receive help applying to college, and which students have access to extra learning assistance. Our state has a $4,800 per student gap between the wealthy and poor school districts, one of the largest in the nation, and students of color are concentrated in low-wealth districts. The school funding system maintained by our state legislature and other state officials provides insufficient state funding, distributed irrationally and inequitably. It is unconstitutional, and we need your help to fight for quality public education for all.
The school funding trial is just part of the Law Center’s work taking on discrimination and poverty. This year, we began to tackle the issue of concentrated unsafe auto body shops and scrapyards in Southwest Philadelphia. These businesses can negatively impact the quality of life of the residents surrounding them, through pollution, littering, and even fires. We’ve taken a stand against gun violence in the Philadelphia by representing residents who have lost loved ones to gun violence and advocating for evidence-based gun safety legislation. And our fight against gerrymandering continues. We’ve long advocated against prison gerrymandering, which counted people imprisoned at the addresses of their cells rather than their homes when drawing district lines. In August 2021, the Pennsylvania Legislative Reapportionment Commission adopted a resolution to curtail this practice. We continue to closely monitor the ongoing redistricting process following the 2020 U.S. Census.