Gibbons Fellowship Receives Morheuser Humanitarian Award From the Education Law Center


May 17, 2011

The John J. Gibbons Fellowship in Public Interest & Constitutional Law was honored by the Education Law Center (ELC) with its Morheuser Humanitarian Award. The award is named for the late Marilyn Morheuser, ELC Executive Director, known for being tireless in her efforts, committed to the change she sought, expert in her field, compassionate in her approach, and charismatic in her ability to inspire.

The Morheuser Humanitarian Award recognizes dedication to improving education for New Jersey’s disadvantaged public school children. For more than 20 years, the Gibbons Fellowship been an advocate for poor, inner city students, particularly through its involvement in the landmark Abbott v. Burke school finance litigation, for which Gibbons served as co-counsel. The Fellowship has more recently opposing efforts by the State of New Jersey to reduce funding for these predominantly disadvantaged school districts.

“Marilyn’s ambition was to make this state one in which rich and poor alike have equal educational opportunity, so that the children of New Jersey can, regardless of where they live, all become productive, fully participatory citizens and community members, and the state itself is a place where every child at least has the chance to be all that he or she can be,” says Lawrence S. Lustberg, Director of the Gibbons Fellowship. “The Gibbons Fellowship strives to uphold those lofty ideals through our longstanding and ongoing work on behalf of urban school districts, and we are grateful to ELC for this honor.”

About the Education Law Center (ELC)
Founded in 1973, Education Law Center (ELC) advocates on behalf of public school children for access to an equal and adequate education under state and federal laws. ELC’s work is based on a core value: if given the opportunity, all children can achieve high academic standards to prepare them for citizenship and to compete in the economy. ELC focuses on improving public education for disadvantaged children, and children with disabilities and other special needs, through a wide variety of strategies, including public education and engagement, policy initiatives, research, communications, and, as a last resort, legal action. ELC works to improve education for urban school children by advocating for effective implementation of the programs and reforms ordered in the landmark Abbott v. Burke school funding case, and provides direct legal assistance to lower income children in disputes involving access to an adequate, equal and appropriate education under state and federal laws.