Grantee Spotlight: Education Law Center

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FISA Foundation is proud of the many accomplishments Education Law Center’s Legal Advocacy Project for Children with Disabilities reported over the past year. This grant demonstrates how well informed, supported and engaged parents and advocates can truly make a difference in the lives of children, both through individual advocacy and through collaborative systems reform.

Some successes within the Pittsburgh Public Schools include:

  1. PPS adopted new policies and new professional development requirements that  are designed to promote better inclusion in the classroom.
  2. The Ed Law Center worked closely with the Pittsburgh Local Task Force to accomplish, among other things, the following:  The District amended its accessibility policies, improved signage, addressed building-level access issues, and provided training for building-level administrators on policies and practices of physical and program accessibility. This will improve access for students, parents, school personnel and community members.
  3. Pittsburgh Public Schools rescinded its policy to include PSSA scores as part of the eligibility criteria for the Pittsburgh Promise, after learning that students with disabilities were being disproportionately screened out.
  4. Pittsburgh Public Schools students with disabilities made AYP (adequate yearly  progress, as defined in the No Child Left Behind Act) this year.

The Education Law Center also advocates statewide ensuring that the interests of students with disabilities are considered in all efforts at educational reform. This year ELC staff was able to raise concerns about proposed voucher legislation and its disparate impact on children with disabilities. To date, this legislation has not been adopted.

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