Following the death of Dr. Constance Clayton, beloved former Superintendent of the School District of Philadelphia, PFT President Jerry Jordan issued the following statement:
PHILADELPHIA--"Dr. Constance Clayton was the best Superintendent I've ever known, and the students and staff of our school system and our city at-large are better for her service. Dr. Clayton at her core was an educator, a mentor, and one of the staunchest advocates for children that I've met.
"I was always struck by how Dr. Clayton ended every speech she delivered: 'Remember, the children come first.' She lived by those words, and her leadership was defined by that unwavering commitment. This credo was inextricably linked to every action she took as a superintendent.
This afternoon, as part of the Statewide Basic Education Funding Commission hearings seeking to evaluate the current underfunding of Pennsylvania's public schools, PFT President Jerry Jordan offered extensive testimony and research into the urgency of rectifying decades of underfunding. Jordan's testimony focused on the impacts of underfunding, and particularly noted that underfunding schools is a facet of a society that refuses to provide Black and Brown young people with what they deserve to thrive. In Philadelphia, where the students we serve are primarily Black and Brown and experiencing poverty, this crisis is particularly acute. Testifying along with Jordan were AFT Pennsylvania President Arthur Steinberg and several panels of experts.
In his testimony, which is shared below and linked here, Jordan not only outlines specific instances of the impacts of disinvestment, but he offers commonsense, research-based solutions. His testimony is replete with a host of articles by subject matter experts, and weaves together the central, urgent theme: we must provide our young people with resources. And the resources must be rooted in what students need: additional support staff, smaller class sizes, increasing numbers of school counselors, and so much more.
Amidst an ongoing heatwave that has prompted early dismissals of over 1/3 of District schools, PFT President Jerry T. Jordan issued the following statement:
PHILADELPHIA--"The ongoing and worsening impacts of the worldwide climate emergency, coupled with decades of disinvestment in our system of public education, have put an enormous strain on students and staff as they returned to school. This week's unbearable heat wave has prompted the closures of over 1/3 of District buildings, closures that will continue (with additional schools added) through the rest of the week.
On Thursday afternoon, PFT President Jerry Jordan joined a press conference hosted by CeaseFirePA and Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon to call for immediate action on urgently needed gun safety legislation.
In addition to Jordan, speakers and partners included:
"Once again, the Republican led Pennsylvania State Senate is not only refusing to address their legally (and morally) mandated responsibility to provide Pennsylvania’s students with a thorough and efficient system of public education, Republican leadership is actively working to dismantle public education.