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September 14, 2023

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.


Following the double shooting in East Germantown that claimed the life of 16-year-old Semaj Fields and injured another teen, PFT President Jerry T. Jordan issued the following statement:

PHILADELPHIA-- "I’m heartsick by the loss of Semaj Fields, a freshman at Ben Franklin High School, gunned down with his whole life ahead of him. My condolences are once again wholly insufficient in this time of profound loss. But for all who knew and loved Semaj, and for the entire Ben Franklin community, I offer my deepest sympathies.

"For the student injured in the same shooting, I share my thoughts and


December 30, 2023

Following the shooting death of Mr. Bilal Henry, a staff member at Mayfair Elementary School, PFT President Jerry T. Jordan issued the following statement:

PHILADELPHIA--"I am heartsick by the callous murder of Mr. Bilal Henry, a beloved father, husband, and staff member at Mayfair Elementary School

"To know that Mr. Henry was gunned down answering the door at his own home, while his wife and children were present is just gut-wrenching.


September 6, 2023

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. 


April 26, 2024

This afternoon, PFT President Jerry T. Jordan joined a coalition of elected, labor, and community partners for a pro-public education press conference. The event was co-hosted by Representatives Roni Green and Elizabeth Fiedler. In addition to the PFT, partners participating include the Philadelphia Council AFL-CIO, AFT Pennsylvania32BJ SEIUUNITE HERE Local 634POWER InterfaithMake the Road PA, NAACP Pennsylvania, League of Women Voters, Education Voters of Pennsylvania, Working Families Party PA, and DSA. Additional elected partners also joined. 


As we gear up for the state budget, PFT President Jerry Jordan issued the following memos to elected officials:

March 14, 2024: Overall Legislative Priorities

March 18, 2024: Additional Voucher Information