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Charles Mostoller

Charles Mostoller / The Notebook

Fundraising goal is matched; lawyers to be honored

This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.

The Notebook is excited to announce that its latest fundraising campaign, which ended Jan. 19, exceeded its goal of raising $25,000 in donations. As a result, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation will match the $25,000, giving the Notebook even greater support of its independent education reporting.

In December, the Notebook was one of 57 nonprofit news organizations from across the country to be chosen by the foundation for its Knight News Match program. The Notebook launched a fundraising campaign to meet the matching challenge and raised $26,680 by its Jan. 19 deadline.

With the money, the nonprofit will be able to expand its efforts to engage with parents, students, civic and community leaders, and others who care about public education in the city.

As part of the fundraising campaign, the Notebook also held a drawing for two tickets to the award-winning Broadway show Hamilton: An American Musical during Presidents’ Day weekend.

Wendy Epstein, a longtime Notebook member, won the Hamilton tickets. She was selected randomly from among nearly 200 people who donated to the Notebook or who sent in an entry. We congratulate Epstein on her win and encourage readers to stay tuned for the Notebook’s next big fundraiser. You could be our next big winner!

June event honorees

At this year’s "Turning the Page for Change" event, the Notebook will recognize the lawyers who are arguing a fair-funding lawsuit against the state of Pennsylvania. The honorees are attorneys from Philadelphia’s Education Law Center and Public Interest Law Center, and the firm O’Melveny & Myers in New York.

The event will be held from 4:30 to 7 p.m. June 6 at the University of the Arts.

On behalf of six school districts and seven parents, the plaintiffs’ lawyers in the lawsuit have argued that the General Assembly and governor are evading their constitutional responsibility to guarantee a “thorough and efficient” education for Pennsylvania’s students. The state counters that school funding is a legislative responsibility and that the courts have no jurisdiction in the matter. Last year, the Commonwealth Court dismissed the suit on those grounds, and the plaintiffs appealed that ruling to the state Supreme Court in September.

The Philadelphia School District is not among the plaintiffs, but it filed an “amicus” brief in support of their position, and several of the parents in the case reside in the city.

More than 350 public school supporters are expected to attend the “Turning the Page for Change” event this year. Tickets will go on sale in March. For information on sponsoring the event or placing an ad in the program book, contact Lauren Wiley at laurenw@thenotebook.org or 215-839-0082 ext. 106.

New year, new interns

The Notebook welcomes two new interns for the winter/spring cycle of our internships. Camille DeRamos, a senior at Villanova University, and Amy Xu, a senior at Bryn Mawr College, will report stories for the Notebook’s website and the print editions.

The Notebook supports interns throughout the school year and during the summer. If you are interested in interning at the Notebook, we want to hear from you. We offer positions in reporting, website assistance, multimedia work, and photography. Some of our former interns have gone on to become regular writers for the Notebook.

To apply, email your resume and cover letter to wendyh@thenotebook.org.