Parents Helen Gym, Tonayia Coffer, Kim Moore and Tomika Anglin at a City Hall press conference announcing the filing of formal complaints to the Pennsylvania Department of Education. (Photo: Philadelphia Tribune)
In This Issue
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Parent stories: Surviving my first weeks of school

Hundreds of parents have filed complaints with the Pennsylvania Dept. of Education about deficiencies in the education of their children. The PA Secty. of Education MUST investigate each complaint. File here, file often, file responsibly & hold PA accountable. 

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Oct. 7, 8:30 a.m.
PCAPS protest of Gov. Tom Corbett's visit to Philly.
12th & Market Street
Oct. 7, 7 p.m.
Economic Research Analysis Network national conference, Sheraton Hotel, 17th Street. Helen Gym speaks on opening plenary about education in Philadelphia
Oct. 8, 10 a.m..
Monthly meeting of Philadelphia Home & School Council.
Oct. 10, 6-8 p.m.
Gates Millenium Scholarship information event, St. Joe's University, Bluett Theater.
Oct. 15, 5:30 p.m..
SRC policy & strategy discussion on, yes, "parent engagement." No sign up necessary. 440 N. Broad St.
Oct. 17, 5 p.m.
Annual banquet of our partners Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia. Racquet Club of Philadelphia.
Oct. 17, 5:30 p.m.
SRC meeting 
*      *       *      *      *       *       *
High School Open Houses

Oct. 9, 8-11 a.m.
Girls High Open House, 215-726-2528

Oct. 9, 5:30-7:30 p.m. 
Arts Academy at Rush Open House, 215-281-7603


Oct. 10, 9-10:30 a.m.
Hill Freedman Open House, 215-276-5260


Oct. 17., 9-10:30 a.m.
Hill Freedman Open House, 215-276-5260

Oct. 17, 6-7:30 p.m.
Constitution High School Open House, 215-351-7310
Oct. 19, 9 a.m.-noon
Central High School Open House, 215-276-5262
Oct. 23, 6-8 p.m.
Science Leadership Academy Open House, 215-979-5620
Parents United for Public Education is an all volunteer collective of public school parents working for an independent parent voice in decisionmaking for our schools and greater accountability and a focus on placing children, schools and classrooms first is budget priorities. For more information, find us at
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PARENTS ON THE MOVE                October 2013

This week Parents United for Public Education and the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia sent 260 individual complaints to the PA Secretary of Education about program and curriculum deficiencies we believe to be in violation of the Pennsylvania code. We expect to mail over 250 additional complaints in the coming week. These 500+ complaints were collected within three weeks time and are a clear indicator of the scope of harm happening to public school children in Philadelphia.


Under the Pennsylvania state code, the Secretary of Education must investigate each complaint and correct any deficiencies that may be found. Among the complaints:
  • a third grade student who became homeless and lacks a full-time guidance counselor to offer services and supports required under the McKinney-Vento Act;
  • a parent of a student in emotional distress whose guidance counselor is present only two hours one day a week;
  • a parent whose first grader is in a separate annex building which used to have an assistant principal and now has no supervisory or administrative staff;
  • a parent whose primary grade child is denied any arts programming even though the state code mandates arts instruction for every student in every year at the primary grade level;
  • a parent of a 12th grade student who cannot access required transcripts in a timely manner for college applications because her school, which once had two full-time guidance counselors, is now down to one part-time counselor;
  • parents at a school where the new library is shut down because of a lack of a librarian. The PA code states that every child in every year at the intermediate level shall have "understanding  and use of library and other information sources."
  • elimination of gifted support programs for students with G-IEPs

The documentation of the direct harm of irrational and arbitrary budget cuts demands immediate relief from the state. Gov. Tom Corbett today sits on $45 million in federal funds designated for Philadelphia which he refuses to release. This arbitrary action results in the denial of a basic education guaranteed in the Pennsylvania state code and constitution.

Numerous organizations citywide are supporting this effort to help families and others file formal complaints with the state, including Offices of City Council members Bill Green and Maria Quinones Sanchez, Philly Counselors United, BPSOS-Delaware Valley, the Philadelphia Home and School Council, Action United, PCAPS, NAACP-Philadelphia branch, and others.


Thanks to all the parents and community members who have helped volunteer time and energy for this effort. We will not rest until ALL our concerns are fully addressed!

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Photo: Media Mobilizing Project

Find our latest resource "" where you can file an online complaint form with the state department of education. Your complaint will go directly to Caroline Dumaresq, Acting Secretary of Education. According to Pennsylvania law, the state must investigate each complaint and correct any deficiencies found. Download FAQs, action flyers, and contact Parents United for your next HSA meeting, Back to School event, or parent meeting. 

Contact Parents United for Public Education to schedule a visit or meeting:

Must Watch Video of the Day

Parents United for Public Education worked with parents at the former Wilson School to address safety issues in the closing and transfer of their school to Lea School over a mile away. This video by the American Federation of Teachers, tells the essential concerns about the reckless hazards of closing schools and the need for city AND district officials to make safety a top priority.
Dangerous Walks for Children Result of Philly School Closings
Dangerous Walks for Children Result of Philly School Closings

Surviving my first weeks of school
"Even with everyone working at peak capacity, there just aren't enough people in the building to ensure the safety of our students and staff. The district is negligently underfunding and understaffing our schools which is sure to cause harm. There is no way that the present staffing can keep up this frantic pace." - Robin Roberts, parent, C.W. Henry
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