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Initiatives

In addition to our core advocacy work, ELC receives funding to support several specific initiatives:

 

Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE)

ELC has recently undertaken CFE’s core mission of advancing the legal rights of New York schoolchildren to a sound basic and quality education. CFE was founded in 1993 by a coalition of concerned parents seeking to reform New York State's school finance system. The landmark case, CFE v. State of New York, established the State’s constitutional obligation to provide essential resources to all public school children. ELC’s CFE Project advocates for prompt implementation of adequate and equitable school funding to comply with NY’s constitutional mandate. The CFE Project also advocates for high quality early childhood education and researches other key issues affecting educational opportunity. For more information, please contact Wendy Lecker, ELC Senior Attorney for the CFE Project.

 

Education Justice

Education Justice is a project of ELC designed to offer support services to a network of litigators and other education advocates across the country in an effort to secure the opportunity to learn and equity in funding and learning resources for all children, including low-income and minority children, children learning English, and children with disabilities.

 

Great Schools of New Jersey

Great Schools of NJ (GSNJ) is a non-profit, voluntary association of high need school districts for which ELC provides policy, research and technical assistance. ELC supports GSNJ through information sharing, trainings, data and policy analysis, and other professional services. Issue areas include school funding, education reform, preschool, school facilities improvements, and other topics as needed and as requested by GSNJ and its member districts. ELC prepares and participates in regular meetings of GSNJ member district superintendents and facilitates interaction between the organization and education advocates. For more information, please contact Sharon Krengel, ELC Policy and Outreach Director.

 

New Jersey Special Education Practitioners

ELC is the founder and leading member of the New Jersey Special Education Practitioners (NJSEP) coalition, an association of over 100 attorneys and other advocates in private law firms and public interest advocacy organizations who represent students with disabilities in special education matters. NJSEP hosts a listserv, meets regularly to discuss issues of importance to the practice of special education law and frequently hosts speakers and training sessions of interest to members. A significant component of the work involves advocacy on key special education matters, such as the recent successful effort to secure legislation to place the "burden of proof" in special education administrative hearings on school districts. Advocates interested in joining NJSEP should contact Rita Masino at the law firm of White & Case.

 

Our Children/Our Schools

Our Children/Our Schools is a statewide network of education, children’s rights and civil rights advocates and organizations throughout New Jersey. OC/OS members work together to support a vision of public education that is child-centered and that provides all students with excellent and equitable opportunities to learn. ELC serves as an information source for participant groups and as a facilitator of communications, capacity building and advocacy campaigns. ELC also facilitates the spread of information beyond OC/OS to decision-makers, non-member organizations and advocates, and the press.

 

School Finance Litigators' Forum

The School Finance Litigators' Forum is an online message board where plaintiffs’ attorneys share information and documents relating to school finance litigation, including prekindergarten claims, and respond to posted queries. ELC established and maintains the forum.

 

Secondary Reform Project

The Secondary Reform Project was established by ELC to monitor and support implementation of effective middle and high school reform in New Jersey’s urban districts and to engage a broad group of stakeholders, policymakers and the public in efforts to reduce dropout rates, increase graduation and college participation rates and narrow gaps in educational achievement and opportunity. For more information, please contact Stan Karp, ELC Director of Secondary Reform Initiatives.