UPDATE: April 20, 2016–Oral argument will not be heard in May. It will be heard later in the year.
The PA Supreme Court will hear argument for the school funding lawsuit this year, perhaps as early as in May.
Throughout Pennsylvania, our schools have not received adequate and equitable funding to meet our children’s educational needs. But our Constitution says, “The General Assembly shall provide for the maintenance and support of a thorough and efficient system of public education to serve the needs of the Commonwealth.”
The state government is breaking its own law and our kids are suffering.
Public education advocates have a very important role to play in demanding action and then holding state lawmakers accountable for ensuring that all schools receive adequate and equitable funding to meet our children’s educational needs.
We MUST raise awareness of the school funding problem in our communities and demand action from every branch of government. Write a letter to the editor, ask your school board or community organization to pass a resolution in support of the lawsuit and/or call your lawmaker to say that it is time for Harrisburg to meet its Constitutional obligation to Pennsylvania’s children.
What You Can Do
- Learn more by reading the Updated 2-26-16 Lawsuit FAQs from ELC and PILCOP
• Write a letter to the editor of your local newspapers. Visit our Updated Write a Letter to the Editor to Support the Lawsuit for talking points and a link that will allow you to email your letter to your local newspapers.
• Attend to a school board meeting in your community and ask your school board to pass a resolution in support of the lawsuit. Download our Sample Resolution in Support of PA School Funding Lawsuit and our Frequently Asked Questions about Passing a Resolution in Support of the School Funding Lawsuit for more information.
Read why organizations and school boards are supporting plaintiffs in the school funding lawsuit
The bipartisan Basic Education Funding Commission did great work putting together a funding formula. But without significant sustained additional state investment, kids who are in kindergarten now will graduate before there is adequate funding in our high poverty districts. The mission of public education is to create informed American citizens; our students are our future employees, coworkers and taxpayers. Our concern and responsibility for kids must not end at our township’s borders. That’s why I encouraged our school board, in a well-funded district, to pass a resolution in support of the lawsuit. Lawrence Feinberg, Haverford Township School Board member.
As an organization that fights for equality and justice, the ACLU of Pennsylvania supports efforts to make sure that every Pennsylvania student, rich or poor, has an equal shot at a quality education. The current funding system is fundamentally unfair and puts already disadvantaged students even further behind their wealthier peers. Our constitution demands better for Pennsylvania’s children.” Reggie Shuford, Executive Director, ACLU of Pennsylvania.
The failure of Harrisburg to act appropriately to ensure that all Pennsylvania students receive an adequately funded education has created a system where the quality of education that a student receives is dependent upon her zip code. This is unacceptable. The League of Women Voters of PA commends the plaintiffs for their courage in fighting to hold Harrisburg accountable and re-enforce the constitutional right of every child to receive an education that will allow them to become productive members of society. Suzanne Almeida, Executive Director of the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania
These resolutions of support from school districts across the state highlight the stark fact that public education affects us all. Like our clients, these districts are of all shapes and sizes, from all corners of the state. Now it is time for this case to be heard, so that the public will have clearly laid before them the facts we all know to be true: Pennsylvania’s system of funding education has been broken for generations, and if we are to prosper as a Commonwealth, it must be fixed. Jennifer Clarke, Executive Director of the Public Interest Law Center
We are pleased that so many school districts and organizations across the state are joining with us to ask the courts to take action on this important issue. In response to the Legislature’s continuing failure to adequately and equitably fund our schools, only the courts can ensure our students receive the educational opportunities to which they are constitutionally entitled. We are asking the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to recognize this duty and give parents, students, and school districts their day in court. Deborah Gordon Klehr, Executive Director of the Education Law Center