Donate today!
view counter

Philly parents file hundreds of school complaints with Pa. education department

By the Notebook on Oct 3, 2013 05:57 PM

by Holly Otterbein for NewsWorks

Before this year's classes began in the Philadelphia School District, parents groups and lawyers from the Public Interest Law Center worried that budget cutbacks were so severe that the state would not be able to meet its legal obligation to provide an adequate education.

A few days before class, they called on fellow parents, students and teachers to file formal complaints with Pennsylvania's education secretary. 

Thus far, they said, 260 have been filed. They expect to file an additional 100 complaints by the end of the week.

On Thursday, education advocates also announced a new website,, where people can make official complaints.

Minh Nguyen, who works with Asian youth at Boat People SOS, said some immigrant students are not getting the language services to which they're entitled. Take a Vietnamese high school senior, who just came to the country last year.

"When I first met her, I asked her, 'What are you most excited about to be in Philadelphia, to be in the United States?'" he said. "And she said to me, 'I'm most excited about getting a good education. I want to improve my life. I want to end poverty within my family.'"

But now, Nguyen said, she is lost.

Read the rest of this story at NewsWorks

Click Here
view counter

Comments (9)

Submitted by Helen Gym on October 3, 2013 10:54 pm

Hoping that the Notebook community will work to ensure formal complaints to the state department get filed. You do not have to be a parent to file a complaint. Anyone with direct knowledge of the situation in schools can file a complaint, including groups, organizations, HSAs, volunteers, staff, administrators, supporting organizations, and more. You can file online here, by downloading a complaint form, or inviting us out to your school or community function.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on October 4, 2013 8:34 am
There goes that "entitlement" word again. How much did the immigrant's parents pay in taxes last year and this year to help fund the school system to which they think they are "entitled"?
Submitted by Paul Socolar on October 4, 2013 9:41 am

Actually most of the informed participants in the immigration debate acknowledge that immigrants pay taxes. One analysis found that they pay at a higher rate than the top one percent:

Submitted by JF234 (not verified) on October 4, 2013 10:47 am
Whether the non-English speakers parents pay taxes or not is irrelevant- and if they do pay taxes, their $$$ goes into the same pot as everyone else's. And not many of that "everyone else" wants their kids education experience diluted or compromised b/c the school now has to spend an exorbitant amount per non-English speaking student. Their parents brought them here, it's their parents responsibility to teach them English. Let them hire tutors if need be. I think it's absolutely ridiculous to think every public school in America should on a moments notice have staff that can speak Hindi, Finnish, Vietnamese, etc. if one of those kids chances to waltz through their doors and can't speak a lick of English. If you went to Finland they have the best public schools on earth- but they will not teach you in your native language, you speak their language or deal w/the consequences- your problem, not the taxpayers.
Submitted by Headstart Teacher (not verified) on October 4, 2013 10:41 am
But Finland is not built upon the reputation of being a "melting pot" that America is known for! We the people have always taken on the responsibility to support and encourage social mobility through education. Just because certain political parties choose not to fully fund this ideal does not mean that it does not exist.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on October 4, 2013 12:52 pm
Then you pay for it because the rest of us are taxed to death already.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on October 4, 2013 12:44 pm
School funds come from property taxes. Did they buy a house as soon as they got off the boat? At any rate, Philly teachers are facing a massive pay cut because we have too many people using the system and not enough paying into it.
Submitted by Per D (not verified) on October 4, 2013 6:05 pm
Teachers are facing massive pay cuts because the Governor of PA has taken away necessary funding. He refuses to tax the big oil profiteers and expects the teachers to take ridiculous pay cuts. He does not care about the children of the commonwealth. I do agree with you that not enough are paying for the system.
Submitted by Taxpayer (not verified) on October 4, 2013 6:29 pm
Actually Corbett is contributing more state money to the SDP than ever. The reduction came from FEDERAL pass through money that dried up. Take it up with Obama.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.

By using this service you agree not to post material that is obscene, harassing, defamatory, or otherwise objectionable. We reserve the right to delete or remove any material deemed to be in violation of this rule, and to ban anyone who violates this rule. Please see our "Terms of Usage" for more detail concerning your obligations as a user of this service. Reader comments are limited to 500 words. You are fully responsible for the content that you post.

Follow Us On

Read the latest print issue

Philly Ed Feed

Recent Comments


Public School Notebook

699 Ranstead St.
Third Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Phone: (215) 839-0082
Fax: (215) 238-2300

© Copyright 2013 The Philadelphia Public School Notebook. All Rights Reserved.
Terms of Usage and Privacy Policy