PA Court Throws Out Challenge To State's Education Funding

Apr 21, 2015

In this photo taken Monday, July 27, 2009, a brass emblem hangs above the bench in the largest of three courtrooms at the new Pennsylvania Judicial Center at the Capitol complex in Harrisburg, Pa.
Credit AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

A Pennsylvania court says a legal challenge to the state's system of funding public schools involves political questions that don't belong in the courts.

Commonwealth Court on Tuesday threw out a lawsuit filed by individuals and poorer school districts that argued the state has imposed graduation exams without providing the money it would take to ensure enough students pass them.

The opinion by Judge Dan Pellegrini says it's up to the Legislature to determine how much money each district needs to meet the test standards.

The ruling is a victory for Republican leaders in the House and Senate, who had argued the complaints involved political issues.

State support for public education is a perennial debate in Harrisburg. This year Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf is proposing a significant increase in funding.