Genova Burns Adds School Finance Specialist David Sciarra to its Ranks

October 24, 2023

Genova Burns LLC is proud to announce the addition of David Sciarra to the firm. Mr. Sciarra will be serving as Of Counsel.

Before joining the firm, Mr. Sciarra served as the head of Education Law Center in Newark for over twenty years. He became a pivotal figure in the fight for educational equity over that time. Most notably, he was integral in the landmark Abbott vs. Burke case where the Education Law Center claimed New Jersey’s method of funding public schools under the Public School Education Act of 1975 was unconstitutional. The ruling compelled the school system in the state to reduce inequalities in its funding and ensure all students regardless of economic background have access to education.

“The most significant is the Abbott mandate for high quality early education for all three and four-year-olds in high poverty communities,” Sciarra said of the case.

Sciarra credits his predecessor at the Education Law Center as a source of inspiration.

“My predecessor…Marilyn Morheuser. Her tenacity in the fight for education justice for politically powerless and vulnerable children is a model for using the law as an instrument of social advancement,” Sciarra said.

Despite all these advances in education, Mr. Sciarra believes we have a long way to go, and there are things holding students back. Mr. Sciarra said one thing holding education back today is “our collective failure to hold the states accountable for the condition of our local public schools.

Mr. Sciarra brings years of experience to the firm. He also has advice for those just starting their professional careers. “Stay grounded in the core values of being a responsible person to your family and community and a responsible citizen in our democratic society,” Sciarra says. “The world needs this more than ever right now.”

Mr. Sciarra has practiced as a civil rights lawyer since 1978, working on cases involving socioeconomic rights, affordable housing, welfare rights, and much more. He also writes and lectures on education law and policy. Mr. Sciarra received his B.A. from UC Berkeley, and his J.D. from Temple University School of Law.

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