Our brothers and sisters of PFT Local 3, the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, and the Philadelphia Council, AFLCIO are part of Fund Our Facilities, a coalition of union leaders, local and state legislators, and community partners focused on “securing funding for improvements to school buildings”. This week the coalition secured a win to reduce lead exposure in Philadelphia schools.
On Wednesday, Governor Tom Wolf “announced $4.3 million in state funds for lead paint stabilization that will make classrooms and hallways of Philadelphia schools safer”. But we still have a long way to go.
The Fund Our Facilities Coalition is advocating for $170 million to remediate hazardous and deteriorating schools. This figure would address issues currently plaguing the schools, mold and asbestos removal, lead paint stabilization, water leaks, rodent and pest control, and better maintenance.
PFT Local 3 President Jerry Jordan underlined that we still have a long way to go. “Unfortunately, the presence of lead is only one of the challenges facing our school buildings. Our aging infrastructure yields problems, such as mold, outdated HVAC systems, water damage, and pest infestations. That’s why our coalition continues to call for an immediate investment of $170 million for critically-needed repairs and improvements that will make our schools clean, healthy and safe for all of our children.
“We look forward to continuing our work with the Governor and the General Assembly to make this investment a reality.”
While the $170 million dollars reflects the needs of Philadelphia schools, which educate more than 10% of PA’s students, the coalition advocates for better funding for all of our Commonwealth’s schools. Every child has the right to a quality public education in a safe, health, and clean environment.