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Brett Schaeffer
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  • Philadelphia, PA
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Brett Schaeffer's Discussions

ELC Joins New School Funding Campaign

Started Sep 5, 2014 0 Replies

Aug. 28, 2014 – The Education Law Center has joined a statewide coalition of more than 40 organizations representing educators, business and labor leaders, faith-based organizations, civic and child…Continue

Tags: Law, Center, Education, funding, school

Make a Call Today for Students with Disabilities

Started May 21, 2014 0 Replies

Thousands of families and advocates for children with disabilities spent tireless hours over the past several years urging members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly to address the critical need…Continue

Tags: HB, 2138, SB, 1316, disabilities

Special Education Funding Reform - Bill Summary

Started May 1, 2014 0 Replies

The Education Law Center, along with 40 organizations across the state, has worked for several years to reform the state system for special education funding and accountability.…Continue

Tags: Law, Center, Education, Pennsylvania, Education

Education Voters PA: Budget Address Social Media Go Kit

Started Jan 30, 2014 0 Replies

From our colleagues at Education Voters PA:On Tuesday, February 4th, the Governor will be presenting his proposal for the budget, kicking off “budget season” in Harrisburg. We want to make sure there…Continue

Tags: Gov., Corbett, education, budget, funding


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ELC Honors Education Advocates

Posted on September 19, 2013 at 1:58pm 0 Comments

Morris Dees headlined the Education Law Center's annual event on Sept. 18, 2013. Dees, co-founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center, spoke eloquently on continuing civil rights struggles, particularly in the world of education.

ELC also honored long-time child advocate Barbara Minzenberg and student organizers from the Philadelphia Student Union.…


Improving School Climate in Pittsburgh

Posted on June 19, 2013 at 2:34pm 2 Comments

From ELC's Nancy Potter:

"We saw huge increases in student suspensions, student arrests for really minor infractions."

When students get a summary citation for disorderly conduct, they end up at the district judge's office and miss school.

"Some kids go into the magistrate, plead guilty, pay the fine and they're done. But it's on their criminal record," Ms. Potter said.

If the student can't pay the fine, the case gets sent up to juvenile court…


What's the Impact of School Nurse Layoffs in Philadelphia? Take our survey

Posted on December 14, 2012 at 10:58am 0 Comments

The Education Law Center is interested in learning more about the impact of school nurse layoffs on the lives of public school children, their families, teachers, nurses and health professionals in Philadelphia.

ELC's attorneys are trying to identify issues children are facing and strategies schools may employ to address those issues. Any information provided will be extremely helpful. Please take a minute to complete this survey and be sure to pass the survey link along to others.…


House Education Committee Hearing on School Choice Bills

Posted on June 21, 2011 at 6:22pm 30 Comments

The House Education Committee is hosting a hearing on Wednesday, June 22 to discuss various bills regarding charter schools, school vouchers, and the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program. Each piece of legislation is significant and deals with the fundamental structure of Pennsylvania's public education system. These massive bills are on the verge of being fast-tracked through the legislature without debate or transparency  (remember the pay raise?) and instead tucked…


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At 9:52am on June 28, 2014, Meg Martin said…

Thank you for the Welcome! -Meg

At 3:11pm on February 25, 2014, Linda Gillingham-Marra said…

I'm excited to be a part of this PA group that is interested in school based issues.  I come to the group with 32 years of school based experience as a speech therapist....unfortunately I'm new to New Castle,  Pennsylvania.  All of my professional career was spent in Los Angeles.  I hope I can perhaps add a different perspective to some discussions.  Linda

At 6:03pm on April 12, 2013, Renee Polachek said…

Hi Brett, thanks for the friendly welcome.  Due to my husband's job requiring him to be absent/away for long periods of time, I began cyber-schooling  our 3 children and we absolutely love it. The flexibility is great, our teachers are awesome & the curriculum is top-notch, in my opinion. Much to our surprise, one of the biggest positives to cyber-schooling was not being tied to all of the PSSA Drills that my children were subjected to on a daily basis in the traditional "brick & mortar" public school system. More recently though, even our school is being forced to require the students participate online in regular PSSA & Keystone Test Prep classes and drills. I have tried to be very compliant and for the past 4 days I drove two of my children back & forth 40 minutes each way to take the PSSA Tests. These 4 days did nothing but frustrate my kids and eat up precious school/curriculum time.  Now, the school is saying that I must drive my son back and forth 3 days in May for the Keystone Exams. The closest site they have to us is 1 hr and 15 mins. away.  I previously asked if it would be possible to have someone there to administer the Keystone Exams while my other children took the PSSA Exams.  First they said, yes. Then they said, no because there were only certain times/windows allowed for testing.  In the past I've known other families who could not take the PSSA tests at the time they were given and the school made them take the tests when they returned.  PA Virtual is saying that the Keystones are a requirement for graduation, but my son's Keystone Prep Class teacher said that if they did not pass the Keystone Exams, it would have no effect on their ability to graduate.  My son is already working on a graduation Project which is another requirement for graduation (another time waster in my opinion).  He has a 3.89 GPA right now.  I can not afford to waste any more of our precious time and gas driving him back and forth 75 minutes both ways for 3 days in a row.  I just did it with my other children and for what?  Where is the common sense?  If he has a 3.89 GPA, does he really need to waste time with a Keystone Prep Exam?  Is there any way we can opt out?  There is no way I can drive him there in May.  I feel the school and the state are being totally unaccommodating.  Sorry for such a long post.  I just wanted to be as clear and thorough as possible.  Thank you.

At 10:11pm on September 9, 2011, Yvonne Harding said…

Thank you Brett Schaeffer, I look forward to learning and getting trained how to access resources available for my children and others in Philadelphia County.


At 12:10am on May 10, 2011, Michael Carrier said…
Thanks Brett.  Can't make it Wed, but will try to join future calls.
At 3:28pm on May 6, 2011, Robin Ware Gibson said…
Hi Brett, I'm not sure if this is a site that can help me.  I'm interested in Zero Tolerance Policies.  I'm wanting to make schools use a more "Common Sense" approach when disciplining a child.  This policy has a place but it is not being used in a manner that is serving any good to some students.
At 2:08pm on March 29, 2011, Shari Foose said…
We did, and my son and I spoke to a lawyer there who told us he should be happy for the accommodations he gets. I got an e-mail from Connie Sung about another issue because I'm on your list and she told me to post my question. Brett, nobody I asked knew the answer to the question until I called them, they were the only one who could answer it, everyone took for granted the accommodations you had in place were accepted. What is upsetting is, this is obviously an ADA policy which many people must not be aware of because it doesn't impact them until their child goes to college, if they are able to go at all. How do you think this impacts a person with a disability if they have accommodations put in place all through school because they are needed and then are taken away in college by someone who doesn't even understand the disability?
At 10:02am on March 29, 2011, Shari Foose said…

Hi Brett,

Thank you for getting back to me. I don't know if SEAS or Lehigh Valley Autism Voices or even ARCH know about this thread. Would you like me to introduce it to them and if so would you please write up something explaining what you are with your link you can e-mail me at By the way, my son is going through this situation now and was told the college follows ADA rules. I feel this is a shame because kids with disabilities have accommodations in place to succeed not cheat and some cannot go on to higher education without them.


At 4:50pm on April 22, 2010, parent said…
did you get my comment
At 4:46pm on April 22, 2010, parent said…
yes, they had about 8 different scenarios.
One of which would be to redistrict, or move boundaries. Our district has 5 neighborhood elementary schools.
One was to keep K-4 in local elem. schools and use one elem. school as a fifth grade center.
Most parents strongly oppose placing 5th grade in the middle school.
The school board cast a vote on this issue two years ago, but neglected to inform the residents. Now that the parents are finding out about the vote, we have started a petition and the superintendent has been informing everyone that this is a done deal and renovation drawings are completed and to ignore the petition.
The parents do not want this. I will be presenting in front of the board in a couple of weeks to fight for the cause. I'm having a hard time getting the parents who signed the petition to show up at the meeting.

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