HARRISBURG (Sept. 29, 2017) — Pennsylvania Bar Association President Sharon R. López has issued a statement about the William Penn School District, et al v. Pennsylvania Department of Education education funding case that was issued yesterday:
“The Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued an opinion yesterday in an important education funding case, William Penn School District, et al v. Pennsylvania Department of Education. In 2008, the Pennsylvania Bar Association adopted a recommendation resolving to advocate for adequate educational funding. In an opinion written by Justice Wecht and joined by Justices Todd, Donohue, Dougherty and Mundy, the court found the plaintiffs in the case alleged a valid equal protection claim that could proceed through litigation and trial. Justice Wecht cited Marbury v. Madison, and clearly stated the court may reverse unconstitutional laws, including a school funding law that “imposes a classification whereunder distribution of state funds results in widespread deprivations in economically disadvantaged districts of resources necessary to attain a constitutionally adequate education.””
“The case will now return to the Commonwealth Court for trial. While the PBA has no official position on the separation of powers issue, we do hope that this will encourage the General Assembly to consider how education funds are being distributed, providing a new opportunity for our 2008 education funding resolution to become a reality. After all, this is just the beginning — there is much more advocacy needed before all children in Pennsylvania receive the promise of an equal education.”
The full opinion can be found at http://www.pacourts.us/assets/opinions/Supreme/out/J-82-2016mo.pdf?cb=
Founded in 1895, the Pennsylvania Bar Association exists to promote justice, professional excellence and respect of the law; improve public understanding of the legal system; facilitate access to legal services; and serve the 26,000 lawyers who are members of the association.