March 2010 Issue:
The Connecticut Supreme Court held that the state constitution gives all Connecticut schoolchildren the right to an effective and meaningful education, new cases were filed in California and Indiana, and the Fifth Circuit sent a Texas ELL case back to the trial court.
Building on its successful advocacy for access to high quality pre-K through the Abbott v. Burke litigation, the Education Law Center has released the first two publications in its Pre-K Policy Brief Series: Including Children with Disabilities in State Pre-K Programs and Access to Pre-K Education Under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act.
California college students got the media's attention for their March 4th protests against cuts to the state's public university system. Though they did not receive as extensive coverage, parents, students, and other advocates around the country also rallied and marched to press for K-12 public education needs in their own communities as part of the National Day of Action to Defend Education.
“It simply does not make sense to expect all students to do better in school when some school districts have substantially more funding than others, especially when lower-spending districts often have high concentrations of low-income students and other students who need more services to succeed,” says the Center on Education Policy (CEP), as it recommends that the federal government “ensure that all students have an opportunity to learn by encouraging an equitable distribution of state and local resources for education.” . . .
Comments on the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act were due to the House Committee on Education and Labor on Friday, March 26th. Education Justice, along with Education Law Center, the Campaign for Fiscal Equity, Public Advocates, and Californians for Justice submitted their recommendations which focus on ensuring that:
  1. All states distribute an adequate level of state and local funding relative to student need, and all states are held accountable for ensuring districts and schools have the educational resources necessary to provide equal opportunity to learn and achieve academic standards.
  2. All students arrive at kindergarten prepared to learn, by encouraging states to provide access to high quality pre-K education.
  3. All students have access to fully prepared and effective teachers.
  4. All parents have meaningful opportunities to engage in their child's education.
High Court Decision Anticipated Plaintiffs still await a decision from the South Carolina Supreme Court in Abbeville County Sch. Dist. v. State of South Carolina, which was argued over a year ago..
April 1 - June 30, 2010: Deadlines for state budgets.
April 7, 2010 “ESEA Reauthorization: Testing, Discipline, and the School-to-Prison Pipeline,” a Capitol Hill Briefing hosted by Advancement Project, Alliance for Educational Justice, FairTest, and the Forum for Education and Democracy, features Pedro Noguera, Jim Freeman, Monty Neill, Eric Yates, and Judith Browne-Dianis, Washington D.C. Register.
April 12-13, 2010 “Improving Student Achievement and Teaching Quality,” a collaborative conference sponsored by Historically Black Colleges and Universities and ETS, will include a presentation by David Sciarra on the need for state school finance reform, Orangeburg, S.C.
April 15, 2010 “Transforming ESEA to Meet the Needs of all Learners,” the third event in a series entitled “Transforming ESEA: Helping Public Schools Improve,” presented by the Forum on Educational Accountability (FEA), features Rep. Judy Chu, Douglas Fuchs, Jim Lyons, Myrna Mandlawitz, and Lindsay E. Jones, Washington, DC. Register.
April 19-20, 2010 “Horace on the Hill: Educating Our Lawmakers” advocacy training and meetings with legislators, organized by the Coalition of Essential Schools and the Forum for Education and Democracy, Washington, DC. Register.
April 27, 2010 “The Flat World and Education: What the Nation Can Learn from New Jersey,” lecture by Stanford Professor Linda Darling-Hammond, is presented by the National Institute for Early Education Research and Education Law Center, New Brunswick, NJ.
May 20-22, 2010 “3rd National Communities for Public Education Reform Convening: Building Power & Sharing Visions, Creating A Groundswell for Education Justice!” Denver, CO.
Send announcements of upcoming events for the Education Justice calendar to:

The test of the morality of a society is what it does for its children.

– Dietrich Bonhoeffer



Phone: (973) 624-1815

State-by-state information on school funding litigation, past and pending, can be found at this web page.

If you wish to change your email address, or if this newsletter was forwarded to you by a friend and you would like to join our mailing list directly, please send your request to