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Group To Develop Plan Countering School Closures Study

Student Kiara Garcia speaks while parent Kia Henson -- far right -- and Teachers Union President Jerry Jordan -- next to Henson -- listen. (credit: Pat Loeb)

Student Kiara Garcia speaks while parent Kia Henson — far right — and Teachers Union President Jerry Jordan — next to Henson — listen. (credit: Pat Loeb)

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By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A group of students, parents and teachers — unhappy with a consultant’s report that called for the closing of one-fifth of Philadelphia public schools –announced they’ll launch their own effort to develop a strategic plan.

Earlier this month, the School Reform Commission revealed the details of a study by the Boston Consulting Group that called for, among other things, the closing of some 60 schools.

Despite the considerable time and resources spent on that report — it was funded with $2.6 million from the William Penn Foundation — parent Kia Henson says, it left out a key element.

“They have done nothing to gather input from teachers, students or parents, to find out what the problems are and what our schools really need,” Henson said.

Henson says the report that will be produced by the coalition she’s part of will focus on those concerns, and she thinks they can do it for a lot less.

The teachers union says it will contribute staff and resources for the effort.

Teachers Union President Jerry Jordan says he’s already heard from volunteers.

“We certainly don’t have a shortage of people who want to help with this process,” Jordan explained.

Jordan couldn’t predict when the report might be ready.