School Funding Lawsuit

UPDATE: 8-3-2016

The PA Supreme Court will hear oral argument for the school funding lawsuit on Tuesday, September 13 at 9:00 am in Philadelphia City Hall, Room 456. Immediately following the argument, there will be a rally and press conference at the North apron of Philadelphia City Hall.

We invite advocates to join us at the argument and for the rally and press conference to show strong support for the plaintiffs and for all children in PA’s public schools.  Because the state legislature has failed for so long to provide what our students need, the PA Supreme Court not only has the ability to examine this case, it has the duty to determine whether the constitution is being upheld.

After considering the oral argument, the court will decide whether or not to allow the school funding lawsuit to go to full trial.

Going to Court for Fair Funding

Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia (PILCOP) and Education Law Center- PA have filed a lawsuit on behalf of individuals, school districts and organizations, making the complaint that the funding system in Pennsylvania is not only wrong, it violates the Constitution.

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.

How can you help?
• 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 July 2016 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.

The courts must act and rule in favor of the plaintiffs. They must declare what is happening is legally wrong and join the demand for a just remedy so every child in PA has an opportunity to learn.

But the courts alone will not solve this problem.  It will require all of us.

The legislature must act – utilizing its own Basic Education Funding Commission, the recommendations of last year’s Special Education Funding Commission, and the data it has available to it to develop a new approach to allocating funding. We must let them know it is a priority, we are watching them and are counting on them to act.

  • Enough is Enough. The Courts Must Intervene. - What is happening with the school funding lawsuit? On November 10, 2014, six school districts, the Pennsylvania Association of Rural and Small Schools, the NAACP – PA State Conference, and families whose children attend under-funded and under-resourced schools filed a case in the Commonwealth Court asking the court to: Declare that the current system of […]
  • Going to Court for Fair Funding - Pennsylvania’s system for funding public education is neither adequate, nor equitable; thorough, nor efficient. Learn more about the litigation, getting your community involved and joining a monthly conference call with more information.
  • Going to Court: PA’s system is neither adequate, nor equitable; thorough, nor efficient - Monday, November 10, 2014 Going to Court. Pennsylvania’s system is neither adequate, nor equitable; thorough, nor efficient.  Today, Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia (PILCOP) and Education Law Center- PA filed a lawsuit on behalf of individuals, school districts and organizations, making the complaint that the funding system in Pennsylvania is not only wrong, it […]
  • Look who supports the school funding lawsuit & learn how you can support it, too! - 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 […]
  • Now We Wait - Yesterday, the PA Supreme Court heard oral arguments for the school funding lawsuit. The courtroom was packed with parents, advocates, faith leaders, school and elected officials, and community members from throughout the Commonwealth. Supporters who believe Pennsylvania’s children should have their day in court filled the overflow room and poured out into the hallway. Attorneys for […]