On Thursday, September 28th, the PA Supreme Court issued a landmark decision. It ordered the Commonwealth Court to hold a full trial on PA’s school funding lawsuit. The Court agreed with the plaintiffs that education funding should be subject to judicial review. They ruled that the courts have a duty to ensure that the state’s school funding system does not violate the state constitution or discriminate against students because of where they live or the wealth of their communities.
This decision is a major victory for public school students in PA.
This trial will give families the opportunity to share stories of how the deprivation in schools caused by Pennsylvania’s grossly inadequate and discriminatory school funding system harms children throughout the commonwealth. This trial will shine a bright public light on the absolute failure of the PA legislature to provide all schoolchildren with the resources they need in their classrooms.
We are very grateful for the families and school leaders who had the courage to join the lawsuit and tell their stories. We are also very grateful for the skilled attorneys at the Public Interest Law Center and the Education Law Center of PA who have dedicated countless hours to this case. Click HERE to read their statement on today’s ruling.
We also want to acknowledge that today’s court decision was not made in a vacuum. Advocates banded together in every corner of Pennsylvania and worked collectively to contribute to a body of knowledge of the inadequacies and imperfections in the current system. You made a sustained effort for years to demonstrate clear demand for action that would fix Pennsylvania’s broken school funding system so that every student will have an opportunity to learn and succeed.
We do not know yet when the trial will begin; lawyers will be asking the court to bring the case to trial as soon as possible.
We do know, however, that our work is not done. The courts alone will not solve this problem. It will require all of us.
We MUST continue to raise awareness of the devastating impact that inadequate and inequitable school funding has on children and communities across PA. We must continue to demand action and hold state lawmakers accountable for ensuring that all schools receive adequate and equitable funding to meet our children’s educational needs. Every lawmaker in PA must know that we are watching them and are counting on them to act.