Parents Fuming Over Late Changes to School Enrollment Rules

Parents Fuming Over Late Changes to School Enrollment Rules

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University City -

Parents packed an impromptu line outside the Penn Alexander School in University City hoping to get a spot for their child in kindergarten enrollment.

It is scheduled for Tuesday.  Most parents were more than willing to wait several days in frigid temps.

About 80 people were camped out with chairs, tents, blankets, and portable heaters.  One family even had a giant RV.

"I care very much about education for my kids," said Mariana Farach, one of the parents.

"We've sacrificed a lot so that they can have that."

She is a single mother with one kid in the school and another hoping to get in. 

She and dozens of others grew frustrated when the School District of Philadelphia made a Friday night announcement, saying the first come first served system would be replaced by a lottery. 

That means the first person in line would have the same chances as a person that didn't even show up.  District officials said they made the change so parents did not have to wait outside for so long.

Most parents said it came too late and left in frustration.

"We have children in these schools already.  We are now in a situation already where some of us, and we don't know who, are going to have to send our kids to other schools," said Eric Santoro. 

The District said they will arrange a meeting between parents and the new superintendent to sort out the controversy.  Officials also say they will also honor the wait list put together by those that waited in line Friday.   

That meeting could come as early as next Tuesday.

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