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Statement Summary

June 29, 2023

In the wake of the SCOTUS ruling deeming affirmative action unconstitutional, and amidst the backdrop of state budget negotiations and decades-long underfunding of public schools, and this weekend's Moms for Liberty summit in Philadelphia, PFT President Jerry Jordan issued the following statement:

PHILADELPHIA--"I was profoundly struck by Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson's stirring dissent in today's SCOTUS decision (which reversed years of precedent and a modicum of progress towards racial justice), in which she wrote in part, 'With let-them-eat-cake obliviousness, today, the majority pulls the ripcord and announces "colorblindness for all" by legal fiat. But deeming race irrelevant in law does not make it so in life.'

"This deeply disturbing ruling upends decades of precedent that has moved us towards racial justice--a precedent that helped level the playing field ever so slightly for Black and Latino students, that moved us towards a more equitable society. A precedent that came nowhere near true equity in our society, but a precedent that nonetheless was a major stepping stone in our ongoing quest for justice. 

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Randi Weingarten at a Massachusetts high school

Summer is upon us, and parents, children and teachers are winding down from what has been an exhausting and fully operational school year—the first since the devastating pandemic. The long-lasting impact of COVID-19 has affected our students’ and families’ well-being and ignited the politics surrounding public schools. All signs point to the coming school year unfolding with the same sound and fury, and if extremist culture warriors have their way, being even more divisive and stressful.

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June 7, 2023

"What devastation. A deadly shooting at a Virginia high school graduation has torn families apart and traumatized countless individuals. I am so sorry for those whose lives were stolen, and for all impacted by this horror.

"To the entire Huguenot High School community, we send our deepest condolences.

"The ongoing scourge of gun violence across our nation is shameful, and we demand real, sustainable action to save lives."

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June 1, 2023 PHILADELPHIA--"The strategic plan is rooted in an important vision for our District, and rooted in a set of core values that are reflective of a collective vision for a more equitable and just District. The recent landmark school funding decision effectively proved what we've known for decades: there is an inherent injustice in how education is currently funded in this Commonwealth. And in our District, where the students we educate are primarily Black and brown and experiencing poverty, the impact of this inequitable system has been catastrophic. "The strategic plan set forth by Superintendent Watlington and his team, in consultation with stakeholders, lays out what can be accomplished when we look at what is possible and what resources our students need to learn and thrive.  MORE

May 26, 2023

"I am so very sorry to learn of the fatal shooting of Roxborough High School student Randy Mills--just 15 years old--his whole life ahead of him.

"My deepest condolences to all who knew and loved Randy, and to every member of the Roxborough High School community.

"This loss, which should be unthinkable, is devastatingly far too common. We can and must address the deadly scourge of gun violence."

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May 17, 2023 PHILADELPHIA--"I offer my sincere congratulations to Cherelle Parker on her victory in the Democratic primary election for Mayor. The first female Mayor in our city's history will be an important role model for our youth--especially young Black girls who see themselves reflected in the highest officeholder in our beautiful city. MORE