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Juvenile Court Procedural Rules Requiring Judges to Address Education Issues and Appoint Educational Decision Makers

Pennsylvania’s Juvenile Court Procedural Rules governing delinquency cases require the juvenile court to make findings “to ensure the stability and appropriateness of the juvenile’s education.” Pa. Juv. Ct. P. R. 512(D)(6). They also allow the court to order a social study to address the educational needs of the youth. Pa. Juv. Ct. P. R. 513(A). Rule 147 enables the juvenile court to appoint an Educational Decision Maker (“EDM”) if the child has no guardian or if the court decides that it is in the youth’s best interests to limit the parents’ education decision-making rights. Pa. Juv. Ct. P. R. 147(A). The EDM should address all education issues the youth is facing, including school placement in the least restrictive environment, school discipline, special education, transition planning, and reentry support.