Philadelphia Schools Activists Challenge Penn Foundation Spending

Public-school advocates in Philadelphia plan to file a complaint Wednesday with the city’s Ethics Board over an alleged violation of lobbying rules by the William Penn Foundation, which has become a major player in local education-reform efforts, writes the Philadelphia Daily News.

Advocacy groups Parents United for Public Education and the the Philadelphia Home and School Council, along with the local NAACP chapter, contend a consulting firm hired by Penn to craft a report on school closure and privatization should have registered as a lobbyist. The activists also want the foundation to disclose the sources of $1-million it raised to pay for the study by the Boston Consulting Group.

Both the foundation and the firm dismissed the complaint and said they had acted properly. “None of our activities on behalf of the district constituted lobbying under the law,” said David Fondiller, a Boston Consulting spokesman.

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