ADVOCACY GROUPS charged Monday that the Philadelphia School District's proposal to close 37 schools in June disproportionately affects minorities and disabled students and speaks to a widening gap between the city's economically disenfranchised youth and their more fortunate counterparts.
Action United and the Philadelphia Coalition Advocating for Public Schools (PCAPS) announced Monday that the Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights intends to investigate a complaint that the groups filed.
Of the students in the 37 schools, 81 percent are black, according to PCAPS, compared with 55 percent districtwide.
"The [district] understands that a higher proportion of students in underenrolled, low-performing schools are African-American, and these are the schools that are most affected by the recommended facility closures," said district spokesman Fernando Gallard. "It is also important to note that students at these schools will benefit from the facilities and academic programs improvements that are part of [the plan]."