March 7, 2023
In response to Governor Shapiro's first budget address, PFT President Jerry Jordan issued the following statement:
PHILADELPHIA--"I congratulate Governor Shapiro on delivering a thoughtful budget address that outlines a host of investments in critical resources. Specifically, we are hopeful that the urgency Governor Shapiro conveyed surrounding our Commonwealth's constitutional and moral obligation to provide every child with a 'thorough and efficient' system of public education was recognized and taken to heart by legislators throughout the Commonwealth.
"While we continue to look at the specific allocations for public education, we certainly recognize the significance of Governor Shapiro's initial proposal of over $1B in investment in pre-k through 12 public education this year.
"I urge the legislature to fully fund a system of public education that has been underfunded for decades. We can and must implement a bold investment, and I urge the legislature to take seriously the proposals put forth by both Governor Shapiro and Senator Hughes.
March 2, 2023
PHILADELPHIA-- This afternoon, at a press conference hosted by Senator Vincent Hughes, PFT President Jerry Jordan offered remarks highlighting the urgent need for state investments in public education.
In his remarks, Jordan called attention to the emergency asbestos-related closure of Building 21 yesterday as "emblematic of our ongoing fight for equitable school funding." Jordan noted that, "Every day, we continue to have to fight so hard for something so fundamental: that our young people and their educators are not poisoned when entering their school buildings."
Jordan highlighted and applauded legislative solutions, specifically the comprehensive budget proposal put forth at today's event by Democratic Appropriations Chair Senator Vincent Hughes. The "First Step Plan" is rightfully described as a "down payment on a constitutional education funding system" and invests over three billion dollars into an equitable distribution of funding, including restoring portions of the charter school line item as well as specific facilities funding. Both of these items are top priorities as outlined in our legislative platform, which is endorsed by dozens of lawmakers and leaders.
February 28, 2023
In response to the election of the Honorable Joanna E. McClinton as Speaker of the PA House, Jerry Jordan issued the following statement:
PHILADELPHIA-- "I am simply delighted to congratulate the Honorable Joanna E. McClinton on her election as Speaker of the Pennsylvania House. Speaker McClinton has, from before she ever set foot in office, led with courage, conviction, and an unwavering commitment to the people of the 191st legislative district and every Pennsylvanian.
"Speaker McClinton represents the best of elected officials and has been a steadfast force for change during her time in office. Speaker McClinton, the second Black person and first woman to ever hold this office, has met the moment leading up to her election with grace and determination.
February 23, 2023
PHILADELPHIA-- "Once again, the devastation of gun violence continues to traumatize our communities. It should be unfathomable that outside of one of our schools, as an event was letting out, [seven] people--including a toddler and [five] teens--were shot. But of course, it is anything but unfathomable. It should horrify us all, but it should shock none of us.
"This week, two women were gunned down in separate shootings. On Tuesday, two teens were shot walking home from school. Over the weekend, Temple University Police Officer Christopher Fitzgerald's life was cut violently short. And in fact, as of yesterday, there have been 191 shootings (49 fatal) this year alone.
"While I’m so thankful to learn that the [seven] individuals (as young as two years old) shot this evening are in stable condition, I’m once again enraged that this unrelenting scourge of gun violence is our ever-persistent reality. Our team has been in touch with the school building representative as well as District administration to ensure that supports will be available for the school community.
"I imagine the sheer terror of the families of those injured and the lingering trauma this event will engender for every person who witnessed or was impacted by tonight's shooting outside of Blaine.
"I am horrified to learn of the fatal shooting of a Temple University police officer [Christopher Fitzgerald] this evening. The catastrophic, relentless devastation of gun violence is unbearable. I am so sorry for [Officer Ftizgerald], his family, and all impacted by tonight's tragedy.
"It is well past time for meaningful, systemic gun reform. As we mourn for this officer and his loved ones, we must organize and act in order to stop this horrific crisis."
Officer Fitzgerald's name was added to this statment after his identity was released.
February 7, 2023
PHILADELPHIA-- "Today's victory is years in the making, and in many ways a culmination of our fight for equitably funded public education-- and in many ways just a beginning. I am beyond elated that the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania recognized what we have said for decades: Pennsylvania's system of funding public education fails to meet its constitutional requirement to provide every child in our Commonwealth with a thorough and efficient system of public education.
"I offer my deep gratitude to the brave plaintiffs and their attorneys who put forth an irrefutable case-- a case rooted in the deep inhumanity of decades of disinvestment in our young people and communities. The work of Public Interest Law Center and Education Law Center PA is unparalleled.