File a complaint!

NEW! File your complaint online. Our online complaint site will deliver your complaint directly to the PA Dept of Education and send a copy to the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia for their records.

The Pennsylvania state constitution requires that the state provide a “thorough and efficient” education. Pennsylvania state code requires curriculum mandates naming specifically art, dance, theater, and music for every child; a comprehensive K-12 integration of services including guidance counseling services; and sufficient staffing levels to meet those curriculum mandates. The Pennsylvania Secretary of Education is required to investigate all complaints of failure to uphold these mandates.

If your child has been denied service or experienced consequences due to lack of staff or resources, file a complaint with the state department of education. Our purpose for filing the complaint is not to target specific District staff and personnel, but to document the widespread damage and consequences of reckless budget cuts on students and families.

The complaint does not have to be professionally written but it should be specific, noting the harm done to a child. For example:

  • a child requested to see a counselor about high school options but none was available
  • a parent requested interpretation services in Mandarin for an emergency but none was available on that day
  • a child experienced bullying and needed a counselor but no one was available
  • a child sent home for medical reasons because a nurse was not on duty
  • a closed library or resource center due to lack of staffing
  • split grade
  • overcrowding of classes (35+)
  • no art programming in schools

File a complaint online here:

Or download our form below. Complaints must be signed and sent to:

Carolyn Dumaresq, Ed.D., Acting Secretary of Education

Pennsylvania Department of Education
333 Market Street
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17126-0333


We are asking parents and all those submitting a complaint to make one copy for yourself and to forward another one to either PILCOP or Parents United (which we will send to PILCOP).

We believe that groups and organizations such as HSAs, school councils, community groups, student organizations, and other parent organizations can file group complaints – but these should not take the place of individual complaints. The reason why is that the specific harms to students can best be done through individual complaints. However, group complaints can be an effective way to do both at the same time.


Contact information

Sonja Kerr, Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia:, 215-627-7100, x229 or 267-546-1319

Michael Churchill, Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia:, 267-546-1318

Helen Gym, Parents United for Public Education,, 215-808-1400



DOWNLOAD THE ComplaintForm-general HERE (Special Ed and Gifted students, please download ComplaintForm-IEP here)

SHARING WITH OTHERS? Use this Complaint FAQ to help you explain the process.


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