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To help the most vulnerable children in Pennsylvania get a good pubilc education.
For thirty years, the Education Law Center (ELC) has worked to make good public education a reality for Pennsylvanias most vulnerable students--poor children, children of color, kids with disabilities, English language learners, children in foster homes and institutions, and others. ELC advances this cause by providing one-on-one counseling to families who have school problems; advocating for policy changes at the local and state levels; litigating key issues affecting large numbers of students; and providing information and training to families and to professionals who work with them. All of our services are provided free of charge to students and families. For example: We distribute tens of thousands of family-friendly manuals and fact sheets on students and families rights to public education and special services. Most of our materials can be obtained, at no charge, from our publications page. We operate a telephone Help Line through which more than 6,000 families, advocates, and others get help each year for specific students. Some of our staff members speak Spanish, and we can provide interpretation for families that speak other languages. While we cannot provide free lawyers for all of the families that call us, we do try to provide advice and information to all callers. We train parents and professionals to advocate for childrens education rights, and we publicize issues important to children and families through our web site, newsletter, and the press. We advocate for state and local policies that improve children's educational opportunities and achievement. For example, our Pennsylvania School Reform Network project has been on the forefront pushing for a fairer school funding system. We represent parents and children in selected lawsuits that seek important reforms. Our cases have enforced the rights of children with disabilities, immigrant and refugee children, kids facing school discipline, children in foster care and juvenile justice placements, and many others. We recruit and provide technical assistance to attorneys who would like to take on individual education law cases pro bono. By working with parent, student, and community groups, we help empower local communities to work for appropriate school policies. ELC is a statewide organization with offices in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Harrisburg.
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