Philly Complaints Process and Litigation

In September 2013, Philadelphia schools began operating on what District officials themselves described as a “Doomsday Budget.” Soon after, the Law Center, Parents United, and the Media Mobilizing Project launched Through this online portal and through paper filings, Philadelphia parents have submitted over 825 complaints to PDE documenting dire school conditions. PDE, which has governed Philadelphia public schools since 2001, is required to investigate these formal complaints.

After no response from the PDE, The Law Center filed a suit on behalf of seven Philadelphia School District parents and Parents United for Public Education in the Commonwealth Court alleging that the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) has violated its legal obligation to investigate allegations of massive curriculum deficiencies in Philadelphia public schools.

On October 5, 2016, as part of a settlement of this lawsuit, PDE created its first-ever formal policy and procedure for accepting and responding to complaints from parents, teachers and advocates about curriculum deficiencies in public schools.

Case Progress

December 2016
Submit Nursing Complaints to

October 2016
Case Settlement

December 2015
Pa. Dept. of Ed. Declares Philly Schools Offer Deficient Curricula

July 2015
Department of Education Submits Answer to our Petition for Review

February 2015
School Complaints Case Goes Forward Against the Pennsylvania Department of Education

January 2015
Law Center Responds to State’s Preliminary Objections

November 2014
Department of Education Continues to Claim No Responsibility for Philadelphia School District Issues

October 2014
Pa. Dept. of Ed. Claims No Responsibility for Problems in Philadelphia Schools

September 2014
Pa. Senate Democratic Caucus Sends Letter to Secretary Dumaresq

September 2014
Philadelphia Parents’ Lawsuit Challenges Failure of Pennsylvania Department of Education

August 2014
Law Center to Re-launch