The PA State Supreme Court heard arguments in the school funding lawsuit this week.
Children in some districts have lavish swimming pools, while others graduate from schools without ever having used a computer or seen a library, said attorney Brad Elias, representing several school districts, parents and civil rights groups. Legislatures and governors through the years “have fallen down terribly, they have not done their job,” said Elias with the New York firm of O’Melveny & Myers. Elias is working pro bono with the Education Law Center and the Public Interest Law Center, which brought the case two years ago.
Attorneys for the state countered that only the governor and Legislature can set the baseline for what the Constitution requires, and decide what is fair, equitable and sufficient to fulfill the constitutional mandate. The Constitution does not confer the right to an education, said John Knorr of the Pennsylvania attorney general’s office. “No individual child has any specific right to an education at all” under its provisions, he said.
He argued that the Legislature must simply set up “a system.” It has, he said. “And there it remains until the people of Pennsylvania tell us otherwise.” Knorr said what is required beyond “opening school doors” is a “policy question.”
The justices did not indicate when they would rule on the issue.
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