School Funding Lawsuit Set for Hearing Tuesday
By Dale Mezzacappa | September 9, 2016
A two-year-old lawsuit that seeks to revamp how schools are funded in Pennsylvania will come to the state Supreme Court on Tuesday, with the justices hearing clashing arguments on whether they have the authority – and the obligation – to inject themselves into this critically important, but politically explosive issue.
The six school districts, seven parents, and two advocacy organizations bringing the case say that the justices have a legal and moral duty to take action. Represented by the Education Law Center and the Public Interest Law Center, the plaintiffs argue that in not doing so, the court is allowing the General Assembly and governor to evade their constitutional responsibility to guarantee a “thorough and efficient” education for all of Pennsylvania’s schoolchildren.
The state counters that school funding is a legislative responsibility and that the courts have no jurisdiction in the matter. Last year Commonwealth Court dismissed the suit on those grounds, and the plaintiffs are appealing that ruling.
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