David Sciarra is the Executive Director of the Education Law Center (ELC) based in Newark, NJ. In addition to overseeing the operations of the organization, Mr. Sciarra serves as lead counsel for the school children in NJ’s Abbott v. Burke litigation. The Abbott decisions significantly advanced the provision of fair school funding, high quality early education, safe and adequate school facilities, and school reform, especially to schools serving high concentrations of at-risk students and students with disabilities and other special needs, and have been heralded as the most important legal advances for public school children since Brown v. Board of Education.
ELC also provides legal services to individual parents and groups in matters involving the education rights of students under state and federal law, including English language learners and students with disabilities. ELC also facilitates coalitions of parents and community and advocacy groups working to protect the rights of public school children.
ELC’s growing national program is a resource to litigators and advocates around the country working towards fair and equitable school funding and improved educational opportunities and outcomes for children, especially those most at risk. Mr. Sciarra and his team have worked with Educate Nevada Now from the organization’s inception, providing expertise in the areas of litigation, communications and advocacy.
Prior to joining ELC, Mr. Sciarra spent many years as a civil rights lawyer in New Jersey, including 10 years at the New Jersey Public Advocate. He received his BA from the University of California, Berkeley, and he graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1978 from Temple University School of Law.