May 2011 Issue:
A case brought on behalf of thousands of New Orleans students with disabilities, P.B. v. Pastorek, claims that these children are denied the basic educational services due to them under IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) and other federal laws. Indeed, these students are often denied access to any school at all, plaintiffs allege. In late April 2011, a federal judge denied defendant Louisiana Department of Education's (LDE) Motion to Dismiss.
A look at states with "local control" of K-12 education in their constitutions and what that may mean for charter school "authorization," that is, the approval process. As the funding and oversight of charter schools debates heat up, the question of who---states or local school districts---can authorize charters has come up again, this time before the Supreme Court of Georgia in Gwinnett County School Dist. v. Cox. In its May 16, 2011 ruling, written by Chief Justice Carol Hunstein, the court held that local districts---not the State---have exclusive control over charter authorization in Georgia.
It's obvious to the public that teachers are the solution to today's education challenges.
Last year's respected PDK/Gallup Poll of the Public's Attitudes Toward the Public Schools found that 71 percent of Americans have trust and confidence in teachers, jumping to 78 percent for public school parents.
Charter schools, along with private school vouchers, are the centerpiece of many governors' education "reform" agendas this year. With the governors' support, charter authorizers are receiving record numbers of charter school applications this year.
After releasing their State of Preschool 2010: State Preschool Yearbook in April, pre-K experts at NIEER (National Institute for Early Education Research) analyzed the impact of the recession on our youngest learners. "Overall, state cuts to preschool funding transformed the recession into a depression for many young children," said Steve Barnett, NIEER co-director. In the 2009-10 school year, negative recessionary impacts became more severe and widespread.
The supreme courts of Washington and South Dakota will rule on appeals in educational opportunity and adequacy/equity cases. Plaintiffs won in the trial court in Washington, and defendants won in the trial court in South Dakota.
Plaintiffs still await a decision from the South Carolina Supreme Court in the educational opportunity case Abbeville v. State, which was argued before the court almost three years ago.
May 24, 2011 - The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that large state funding cuts have rendered the state's finance system unconstitutional, as the Superior Court found, and ordered a remedy, in Abbott v. Burke.
June 8, 2011 - The national educational Equity and Excellence Commission will host a town hall meeting in Dallas, TX. The Commission is currently meeting in DC, that is, on May 23 and 24.
June 8-10, 2011 - The Southern Education Foundation hosts its annual School Leadership Initiative, including remarks by Molly A. Hunter, Atlanta, GA.
June 14, 2011 - ETS presents its 15th Addressing Achievement Gaps symposium, "A Strong Start: Positioning Young Black Boys for Educational Success," Washington, D.C.
June 15-16, 2011 - The annual Litigators' Workshop for plaintiff litigators in educational opportunity cases, Denver, CO. By invitation only.
July 28-31, 2011 - Save Our Schools March , including a rally on July 30 at The Eclipse, Washington, DC
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.

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