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Parents sue over state response to Philly school complaints

A group of Philadelphia School District parents filed a lawsuit Tuesday saying the state education department has violated its legal obligation to investigate claims of "massive curriculum deficiencies" in city schools.

The group, including seven district parents and the group Parents United for Public Education, filed the suit in Commonwealth Court. Attorneys from the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia are representing the parents.

Last school year, parents submitted 825 complaints to the Pennsylvania Department of Education on issues ranging from overcrowding to "squalid and insufficient toilet facilities." They also documented overcrowding and a lack of counselors and school nurses. The complaints were met with either a form letter, or no response at all, the parents said.

Plaintiff Tim Allen's son attends Bodine High School.

"I want my son, and all kids in the city of Philadelphia, to have equal access to a really good education that they can use to get into college," Allen said in a statement. "Teachers and counselors are trying their hardest with the limited resources they have, but if the state will not investigate what is going on in city schools, Philadelphia's kids will continue to suffer."