Philly Complaints Process and Litigation


Department of Education Continues to Claim No Responsibility for Philadelphia School District Issues

On November 25, the state filed a brief claiming that issues in Philadelphia schools were investigated and that the state has no responsibility for these problems.

The state claims that it did investigate the more than 800 complaints filed with the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) during the 2013-2014 school year, many of which came through our site, The state also claims that most of these issues don’t concern curricular matters, choosing to ignore the allegations that tell of a system that has been defunded to the bare bones, with schools packing as many as 45 students into a single classroom, dropping foreign language and physical education classes, eliminating guidance counselors, and cutting out other curricular basics.

In addition, the state claims that it is within the authority of the Secretary of Education to refer the allegations to the School District for investigation even though the allegations are about the School District, which is currently run by the state.

The state is also disputing our definition of “investigation,” asking the court to defer to its interpretation of that term from one of PDE’s own regulations.

Attorneys for the Law Center will file a response in January, after which a three-judge panel will decide on the preliminary objections, likely without oral argument.