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Phila. Parents Sue Pa. Dept. of Education Over Uninvestigated Deficiency Claims

By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Some local parents have filed a lawsuit to try to force the state to investigate claims of shortcomings in Philadelphia schools.

Seven Philadelphia parents say the Pennsylvania Department of Education has violated its duty to look into allegations of "curriculum deficiencies" in Philadelphia schools.

The suit, filed in Commonwealth Court, claims that 825 parents formally complained about overcrowded classrooms, a lack of counselors, or a lack of gym classes last school year.

Attorney Ben Geffen, with the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia, says the parents got little response.

"Three or four of them [the plaintiffs] received a one-page form letter from the state department of education saying that it would not do any investigation.  The rest of the parents didn't receive any response at all," he tells KYW Newsradio.

Geffen says the law requires the state to investigate each claim.   The state education department did not immediately respond to our request for comment.


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