The mission of the Education Law Center - PA (ELC) is to ensure access to a quality public education for all children in Pennsylvania by focusing on the most underserved students, including children living in poverty, children of color, children with disabilities, children in foster care and juvenile justice systems, children experiencing homelessness, multilingual learners, and LGBTQ+ youth.
ELC’s principal strategies to achieve education equity include direct representation, impact litigation, community engagement, policy advocacy, and strategic communications. Today, ELC remains the only legal advocacy organization in Pennsylvania and one of just a few in the nation exclusively devoted to helping students and families overcome barriers to accessing a quality public education.
In its 49th year, ELC is a well-known community resource for students and their families and a leader in advancing equity in education —in the Greater Philadelphia region, throughout Pennsylvania, and nationally. From the direct legal services and the provision of information and referrals to families through our Helpline to precedent-setting cases and law and policy reform, ELC’s work has made a difference in the lives of individual children and families and contributed to meaningful systemic change. ELC has made significant changes to local policies and practices that have improved school climate, added critical new funds to the commonwealth’s education budget, supported positive learning environments, and moved schools to be more just, equitable, and inclusive.
In 2023, ELC and its partners won a historic Commonwealth Court decision declaring that Pennsylvania’s school funding system is unconstitutional and must be reformed to provide sufficient resources for all children. We published a groundbreaking report describing and responding to the experiences of Black girls confronting anti-Black racism in public schools: “We Need Supportive Spaces That Celebrate Us: Black Girls Speak Out About Public Schools.” And we recently issued our annual Back-to-School Guide, an annotated collection of more than 75 rights-based fact sheets and other resources developed by ELC to help families and child-serving professionals ensure equal access to public education.
Learn more at elc-pa.org. Follow ELC on Facebook (@EducationLawCenter) or on Twitter (@edlowcenterpa).