Courthouse News Service: Trial Opens in Pennsylvania Over School Funding Disparities

November 12, 2021

Opening arguments began on November 12 in a trial between the state of Pennsylvania and six school districts over the state’s school funding system and whether or not it meets constitutional standards. O’Melveny partner and counsel for the districts, Katrina Robson, said her team would prove that the state is failing to live up to the standards. “The cost of failing to support a thorough and efficient system of education — it’s not measured in statistics. It’s not measured in dollars and cents. It’s measured in the lives of the children of Pennsylvania. And that’s why petitioners brought suit.” Robson noted that the disparities in funding among the school districts has affected student performance levels as low-income pupils in wealthier school districts test better than their peers in low-income school districts, with “40% of low-income students being proficient in math in wealthier schools, and less than 25% being proficient in poorer schools.”

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