May 19, 2022
Philadelphia City Council Public Comment on Bill No. 210685-AA by:
AFT Pennsylvania President Arthur G. Steinberg, Philadelphia Federation of Teachers President Jerry T. Jordan
“We thank Councilmember Green and his staff for their work on mandatory asbestos testing and the ‘School Building Safety Advisory Group.’ For decades, our union has been demanding the remediation of toxins like lead, asbestos, and mold from our school buildings, and for decades those calls have largely been met with silence, inaction, or even obfuscation from the School District of Philadelphia.
“With the passage of Councilmember Green’s bill, our educators, staff, students, and their families will no longer have to take the District on their word that a school building is safe to enter. The Philadelphia Department of Public Health will provide outside testing of school buildings for asbestos for three years, and a diverse group of community stakeholders will provide analysis on the safety status of school buildings and issue recommendations on how to improve conditions.
“While we would always prefer there be consequences for the District not heeding the advice of public health experts with regard to toxins in schools, we believe that Bill No. 210685-AA is a step in the right direction toward providing School District accountability to the people it serves. We urge all members of City Council to vote ‘yes’ on this bill."
Read Councilmember Green's statement upon the bill's final passage here.