News & Events

Case Updates

Governor’s Increase in Basic Education Funding is Welcome, but more Investment is Needed Moving Forward

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School District to Improve Services for Philly Students with Disabilities During School Breaks

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Parents, School District of Philadelphia Settle Extended School Year Lawsuit

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Important Victory for Parents with Limited English Proficiency and their Children with Disabilities, as Lawsuit against the School District of Philadelphia Moves Forward

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Pa. Department of Ed. Establishes First-Ever Curriculum Complaints Process

Pennsylvania parents have new pathway to ask the state to investigate curriculum deficiencies Read more

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument for Fair Education Funding Lawsuit

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Pennsylvania Supreme Court to Hear Oral Argument for Fair Education Funding Suit

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PA Supreme Court Sets Argument Date for Fair Education Funding Lawsuit

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Leading Education Organizations Declare Victory on Funding Formula and Call for Formula to be Adequately Funded

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Education Funding Primer

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Full Time Nurse and Counselor in Every Philadelphia Public School

School District of Philadelphia superintendent Dr. William Hite made a pledge of a full time nurse and counselor in every Philadelphia public school.  Read more

City of Philadelphia Submits Brief in Support of School Funding Lawsuit

The City of Philadelphia prepared a “friend of the court” brief on February 16, 2016, in support of our ongoing lawsuit against state officials over the Commonwealth’s broken system of school funding. Read more

Campaign for Fair Education Funding Statement on Governor Wolf’s Proposed Budget

The Campaign for Fair Education Funding issued the following statement on Gov. Tom Wolf’s basic education funding budget announcement today: Read more

Department of Justice Supports Language Access Case

The United States Department of Justice has filed a brief supporting the claims of non-English speaking parents of students with disabilities in the School District of Philadelphia that they are entitled to have all critical documents in the I.E.P process translated. Read more

Submit Nursing Complaints to, a web site set up in partnership with Parents United for Public Education and other groups and elected officials, is now accepting nursing-related complaints. Read more

Campaign for Fair Education Funding asks Governor, General Assembly to make Students a Top Priority in Budget Negotiations

Coalition of more than 50 organizations seeks long-term investment in public education Read more

PA Dept. of Ed. Declares Philly Schools Offer Deficient Curricula

School District of Philadelphia ordered to submit corrective action plans  Read more

Parents, School Districts Urge Courts to Intervene in School Funding Crisis

Parents and school districts challenging Pennsylvania’s school funding system told the state Supreme Court on November 30 that it should decide the case on the merits and reject the state’s plea to toss the case because of its complexity and difficulty. Read more

District Court Affirms Child has been Denied Free and Appropriate Public Education

Christopher (name changed) is a high school student with autism and speech and language impairments who has repeatedly been denied his free and appropriate public education by the School District of Philadelphia. Read more

Investigation into Discriminatory Practices in Upper Dublin

Parents ask U.S. Department of Education to investigate Upper Dublin School District’s discriminatory practices against black students Read more

Legislature and Governor Tell PA Supreme Court it Cannot Enforce State Constitution Requiring Support of a Thorough and Efficient System of Schools

Attorneys for the state legislature and the executive branch told the Pennsylvania Supreme Court this week that the Court is powerless to decide whether or not the state system of funding public schools violates the state Constitution.  Read more

Campaign for Fair Education Funding asks Governor, General Assembly to Make Students a Top Priority in Budget Negotiations

Coalition of more than 50 organizations seeks final budget package that provides $410 million in new BEF funding and implements BEFC funding formula Read more

Parents, School Districts Ask PA Supreme Court to Hear School Funding Lawsuit

In a brief filed Friday, public school parents, school districts, and two statewide associations continued their legal challenge of Pennsylvania’s broken school funding system. Read more

Campaign for Fair Education Funding report makes case for basic education increase of at least $410 million and a new funding formula

We are a leading member of the Campaign, which released a report on September 9 demonstrating why state lawmakers need to adopt a fully funded formula for public education.  Read more

Lawsuit Challenges School District of Philadelphia’s Failure to Translate Documents and Interpret for Parents With Limited English Proficiency and their Children with Disabilities

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School Complaints Case Goes Forward

Parents who went to Court to force state education officials to investigate hundreds of complaints about woefully inadequate conditions in the School District of Philadelphia may continue to pursue their case under a Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court decision issued today. Read more

Campaign for Fair Education Funding Commends Basic Education Funding Commission on Developing School Funding Formula Proposal

Statewide Group Calls for More Work to Be Done to Enact and Fully Fund a Fair Education Funding System Read more

School District Must Allow Non-English Speaking Parents Meaningful Participation in Child’s Education

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Settlement Enables Student to Receive Essential Extended School Year Services

We reached settlement in an individual case related to our Extended School Year Services class action lawsuit. Read more

Litigation on Behalf of Children Needing Extended School Year Services Moves Forward

Children with disabilities are entitled to individual determinations of the school services and resources they need. Read more

Law Center Helps Child Receive Necessary Speech Therapy Services

We intervened on a child’s behalf to get him needed services from an early service provider.  Read more

School Districts, Parents Take School Funding Challenge to State’s Highest Court

Today school districts, parents and two statewide associations filed an appeal in Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Read more

School Funding Case One Step Closer to Hearing by Pennsylvania Supreme Court

Commonwealth Court Refuses to Review Whether School Funding Complies with State Constitution  Read more

Law Center Intervenes to Get a Child Back to School Safely

L.W. is a seven year old who suffers from severe developmental delays. The Law Center helped to get L.W. back in school and to ensure a new IEP was drawn up that kept L.W. safe. Read more

National Study Finds Pennsylvania’s Education Funding Gap among Nation’s Worst

Campaign for Fair Education Funding: Study Provides More Evidence Pennsylvania Must Enact a Full and Fair School Funding Formula
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Agreement Reached in Language Access Case

Together with the Education Law Center and Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP, we reached an agreement to dismiss a decades-long case to ensure parents and students have access to interpretation and translation services. Read more

School Funding Lawsuit Oral Argument Recap

On March 11, together with the Education Law Center and O’Melveny & Myers LLP, we presented oral argument in our school funding lawsuit. Read more

The Campaign for Fair Education Funding Proposes Funding System to Ensure Quality Education for All Students

The Law Center is a leading member of this campaign and a leading voice in the fight for more equal funding for Pennsylvania’s public schools. Read more

Briefs Filed, Oral Argument Scheduled in School Funding Lawsuit

Join us in Harrisburg on March 11th for oral argument in our School Funding Lawsuit. Read more

Philly School Complaints Briefing Continues

In January we responded to the state’s preliminary objections in our legal challenge against the Secretary and Department of Education’s failure to investigate allegations filed by Philly parents. Read more

Letter Asks to Stop the Sale of the Pepper Middle School

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Recursos 2015 Sobre Terrenos Desocupados

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Philadelphia City Council Urban Ag Hearing

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La Finquita Community Farm heads to court to keep land

Community gardeners in South Kensington claim right to land they have stewarded for 29 years by adverse possession

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Seed Libraries in Pennsylvania Allowed to Engage in Free Seed Exchange

PA Department of Agriculture Clarifies that Seed Act of 2004 Does Not Apply to Non-commercial Seed Libraries

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Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority, Korman Reach Historic Deal for Eastwick

End to largest urban renewal project in history, control of 135-acres returned to the public control Read more

Garden Justice Legal Initiative Releases Vacant Land 215 Toolkit

The Vacant Land 215 Toolkit is a guide for current gardeners looking to keep community spaces. It is also for new gardeners looking to create something new.  Read more

Acquiring Vacant Land Video

Soil Generation partner Alicia Dorsey put together a video on how to acquire vacant land in Philadelphia. Read more

City Officials Make Historic Commitments to Eastwick Residents

At a July 16 community meeting convened by Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, more than 140 Eastwick residents celebrated being one step closer to community-based planning processes for both the future of a 135-acre parcel of land and flood mitigation infrastructure. Read more

Grounded In Philly Updated and Redesigned

More Philly Residents Transforming Vacant Land with Help from and Community Trainings Read more

North Philly Peace Park Gardeners Take a Stand

Kirtrina Baxter, our Garden Justice Legal Initiative community organizer, is helping the garden stave off threats of development.

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Law Center intervenes on behalf of Farm 51

The Law Center is intervening on behalf of Southwest Philadelphia’s Farm 51 in a sheriff’s sale action that could have adverse consequences for the lush community resource.  Read more

On Retiring Blight as Policy and Making Eastwick Whole

Law Center attorney Amy Laura Cahn recently published an article on the legacy of urban renewal in Eastwick and our work with Eastwick residents in the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law ReviewRead more

DHS Fails to Comply with PA Supreme Court Order in Right-to-Know Case

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Settlement Agreement Reached in Florida Medicaid Case to Improve Medical and Dental Care for Florida Children

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Pa. Supreme Court Rules Medicaid Payment Records Must Be Released to Public

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ruled that the public has the right to scrutinize how billions of dollars in taxpayer funds flow from the Department of Human Services (DHS) to private insurance companies to operate the state’s Medicaid program.  Read more

Law Center Urges PA Supreme Court to Uphold Government Transparency

Read a recap of the oral argument in our lawsuit to make public how Pennsylvania spends taxpayer dollars to provide dental services to low-income people and people with disabilities.  Read more

Law Center Challenges Insurance Companies’ Attempt to Keep PA Medicaid Rates Hidden

Oral argument before the Pennsylvania Supreme court to be heard on May 5th. Read more

Insurance Companies Fight to Hide Data on Billions of Taxpayer Dollars Expended for Medicaid

The Law Center is litigating on behalf of the public interest to keep insurance companies from hiding how they reimburse dentists who treat Medicaid patients. Read more

Big Win in FL Medicaid Case

A federal judge found that Florida’s Medicaid program is not providing children with federally guaranteed rights to medical and dental care. Read more

Medicaid Right to Know Litigation Gains Support from Academics, Media

In December we filed briefs in our appeal to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania in our Right to Know Law case.  Read more

Philadelphia Family Fights to Gain Power for Renters in Landlord-Tenant Court

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Preliminary Objections in Safe and Healthy Housing Case Overruled

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Law Center Submits Amicus Brief in Second Case Against MERSCORP, Inc.

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Philadelphia Renter Stands Up for Legal Right to Safe and Healthy Housing

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Law Center, CLS Issue Guide for Sharswood Clients

Approximately 100 properties in the Sharswood/Blumberg neighborhood being taken through eminent domain proceedings are occupied. We are working with Community Legal Services and the Sharswood/Blumberg Neighborhood Advisory Committee to help the residents of these properties. Read more

Oral Argument in Mortgage Recording Case

Oral argument in our Mortgage Electronic Registration System (MERS) case took place on June 25, 2015 in the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Read more

Public Interest Asserted Amicus Brief in Banking Case

On March 23, 2015 five public interest organizations filed an amicus brief to explain the substantial public interest in the outcome of a class action banking case to that has attracted national attention.  Read more

Attorney Fees Awarded in Drug Rehab Center Case

Law Center, McGuireWoods LLP celebrate additional victory in case striking down the city of Dubois’ zoning restriction against a methadone clinic. Read more

Law Center Helps Teaching Aide Return to Work

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SEPTA Background Checks Lawsuit Adds New Allegations and Plaintiffs

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SEPTA Background Checks Violate Federal and State Laws

Together with a coalition of legal advocates, we are suing the transportation authority for denying jobs to people with unrelated criminal records. Read more

Unrelated Criminal History Case Moves Past Preliminary Objections

A lawsuit filed in the Chester County Court of Common Pleas alleges Genesis Health Care violated Pennsylvania law by refusing to hire a prospective employee solely because of her unrelated criminal history. Read more

ADA Accommodations Agreement with PA Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services

The Bureaus of Blindness and Visual Services (BBVS) is the state agency responsible for implementing the federal Randolph-Sheppard Act, which creates opportunities for blind adults to run concessions businesses and cafes in government-owned property. Read more

Lawsuit Seeks to end UPS’s Discriminatory Practice of Failing to Communicate with Deaf Employee

A complaint filed November 16, 2015, alleges that UPS has illegally denied deaf employee Michael MacDonald reasonable accommodations for equal access to the workplace. Read more

Major Healthcare Company Genesis Sued for Discriminating Against Prospective Employee with Unrelated Criminal History

Companies confront fair hiring practices as nation rethinks its incarceration policies and release of thousands of federal prisoners begins Read more

Employee with Criminal History Settles Employment Discrimination Case

Global software firm to change its hiring practices to eliminate automatic disqualification of candidates with criminal records Read more

New Fellow to Launch Employment Discrimination Project for People with Disabilities

We are proud to launch the Disability Employment Discrimination Project by Independence Fellow Julie R. Foster.  Read more

Laws Governing Criminal Record Inquiries in Employment

Law Center staff attorney Benjamin Geffen published a memorandum as part of our Fair Employment Opportunities Project.  Read more

Sunoco Lends Support to Fair, Legal Use of Criminal Background Checks

Sunoco proactively changed its hiring practices to give individuals with criminal records a fair opportunity at getting a job and attaining economic self-sufficiency. Read more

Leading Advocacy Organizations Launch Keystone Votes Coalition, Campaign to Update PA’s Elections

Today, leading state, local, and national advocacy and community organizations joined together to launch Keystone Votes – The Coalition for Modern Elections. Read more

Voting Rights Advocates Praise Wolf Administration’s Move to Offer Online Voter Registration

Today Pennsylvania took an important first step in allowing some eligible voters the opportunity to register online. Read more

Oral Arguments in Electronic, Paperless Voting Case

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania heard oral argument on September 10 in a case challenging the use of paperless electronic voting machines. Read more

Governor Declines to Appeal Loss in PA Voter ID Lawsuit

Governor Tom Corbett announced on May 8, 2014 that the state will not appeal a Commonwealth Court judge’s ruling that prohibits enforcement of Pennsylvania’s voter ID law. Read more

Voter ID Update: Judge Denies State’s Post-trial Motion

Commonwealth Court denied the state’s post-trial motion for reconsideration in Applewhite v. Commonwealth, and as such the injunction against the Pennsylvania Voter ID law will stand.  Read more

Upcoming Events

#TakeActionPhilly Next Steps and CLE Programs

#TakeActionPhilly continues with March CLE programs hosted by the Philadelphia Bar Association.

Law Center Updates