In Court, A Clash Of Views On What Education System PA’s Constitution Requires

As the parties gathered in court one final time on Tuesday to argue the legal issues, attorneys for petitioner districts, families, and organizations in Pennsylvania’s historic school funding trial highlighted the promise of a high-quality school system for all students spelled out in the state Constitution that they contend remains unrealized for hundreds of thousands of students in low-wealth districts.

‘It’s Time To Keep That Promise:’ Closing Arguments, March 10

“Let me say it again, because it’s the whole case. Low-wealth districts do not have the resources that they need to prepare all children for college, career and civic success.”

Week 13 of the PA School Funding Trial: Closing Arguments Set for March 10

Watch the culmination of 13 weeks of trial, 48 days of witness testimony, and years of steadfast efforts of school districts and families across Pennsylvania who sued state officials because they believe a better future is possible for students in our commonwealth’s public schools.

Week 12 of the PA School Funding Trial: Respondents Wrap Up

February 19, 2022–We reached a major milestone in the Pennsylvania school funding lawsuit this week, as legislative leaders called their final four witnesses in their case defending our current school funding system. Daily summaries of each day’s proceedings are now available at FundOurSchoolsPA.org/news Sign up to receive these weekly summaries in your inbox at FundOurSchoolsPA.org On Valentine’s […]

Week 11 of the PA School Funding Trial: One Witness Withdrawn, Two Testify

February 12, 2022–Legislative leaders continued their case defending the constitutionality of Pennsylvania’s current school funding system this week, first calling Mark Ornstein, an educational administrator who most recently led the University Prep Charter School network in Detroit, as an expert witness. Ornstein had prepared a report on the use of standardized test scores and the […]

Week 10 of the PA School Funding Trial: Respondents’ Turn to Call Witnesses

February 5, 2022 – This week, trial entered a new phase, as legislative respondents began to call witnesses to put on their case in defense of Pennsylvania’s current system for funding public schools. First up: Aaron Anderson, CEO and head of school at Logos Academy, a K-12 private Christian school with 225 students in York, […]

Week 9 of the PA School Funding Trial: The Final Four

January 29, 2022–After 37 days, 29 witnesses, and more than 10,000 pages of trial transcripts, the petitioners in the school funding lawsuit are closing their case. Next week it will be legislative respondents’ turn to call witnesses. The final four witnesses called by petitioners this week included a view from a well-funded district, a youth perspective […]

Week 8 of the PA School Funding Trial: Money Matters

January 22, 2022 — Throughout this trial, the court has heard testimony from school leaders and teachers on the ground in low-wealth districts, who see the effects of Pennsylvania’s school funding system first-hand. This week, the court was given a birds-eye overview of education funding from two leading economists. They discussed two questions at the […]

Week 7 of the PA School Funding Trial: Poverty is Not Destiny

January 15, 2022 — The superintendents of the School District of Philadelphia and neighboring William Penn School District testified this week in Commonwealth Court, where a central theme continued to be the urgency to provide adequate resources to support success for students living in low-wealth school districts. The testimony by Dr. Eric Becoats of William Penn on […]

Recapping Week Six of the PA School Funding Trial

We’re back! After a two-week holiday recess, court resumed Thursday in the school funding trial with the first two days of witness testimony in 2022. Jane Harbert, former superintendent of William Penn School District, a petitioner in the lawsuit taking on legislative leaders and other state officials for their failure to adequately and fairly fund […]