Governor Wolf Announces $1 Billion for Lead and Asbestos Remediation in Schools

Our educator brothers and sisters are leading the fight for safe schools and the protection of their students. School districts across Pennsylvania, rural and urban, are faced with crumbling infrastructure and outdated facilities with serious lead and asbestos problems. Governor Wolf announced this week that he is taking steps to get school districts the resources they deserve. The Pennsylvania AFL-CIO is proud to be a Fund Our Facilities Coalition partner, and we join our sisters and brothers of AFT-PA and PFT Local 3 to call for an end to toxic schools in our Commonwealth.

On Wednesday, AFT-PA President Arthur Steinberg stated, “Schools across the Commonwealth, urban, suburban, and rural, all face significant challenges as they relate to facilities needs. Lead and active, damaged asbestos is discovered near-daily in school buildings from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia to Scranton”.

“While this is a great first step toward in ensuring our children and teachers are learning and teaching in healthy schools, AFT Pennsylvania will continue to push our policymakers to get the resources our communities deserve,” he continued.

Philadelphia Federation of Teachers Local 3 President Jerry Jordan commented, “While the Federation is absolutely in support of this plan, we will also continue to relentlessly pursue immediate relief. We urge the Governor to declare a state of emergency in our schools and utilize the rainy day fund to address the daily crisis that we are facing. This is a ‘both-and’ scenario. We need the bold RCAP proposal to move forward, and we need immediate relief.”

“Today’s announcement is a direct reflection of the tireless advocacy of my members and our coalition partners. And we won’t stop pushing for large scale action so that our educators and young people no longer have to put their health and safety on the line so they can work and learn each day.”