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Education Advocates, City Officials Urge Parents To Complain To State About Philadelphia School District Cuts

By Mike DeNardo and Matt Rivers

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Education advocates and city officials are urging parents to complain directly to the state about cuts in Philadelphia schools.

Parent groups say the cuts in Philadelphia schools constitute a failure to provide the constitutionally mandated "thorough and efficient" education. At a City Hall news conference, parent activist Helen Gym provided examples.

"A third grade student who became homeless lacks a full-time guidance counselor to offer the required services and supports. A parent of a student in emotional distress whose guidance counselor is present only two hours one day a week…" Gym listed.

For Kimberly Moore, her third grader at AS Jenks Elementary, it's an overcrowded classroom and a never ending battle for resources.

"As a parent in the district I feel like all we do is wage war to get what is rightfully ours," said Moore.

The web site allows parents to make formal complaints to the state education department. City Councilman Bill Green endorsed the site.

"What's happening to our students is flat-out wrong," Green says.

And Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez agrees.

"We have to document and hold the state accountable," she urges.

Green hoped that "tens of thousands of complaints" would be filed.

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