Steinberg, Jordan, & Roseman Testify at PA House Dems Toxic Schools Hearing

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AFTPA President Arthur Steinberg, PFT President Jerry Jordan, and PFTHW Director of Environmental Science Jerry Roseman joined a critical hearing on Pennsylvania's toxic schools' crisis. The hearing, called by State Representatives Fiedler and Bizarro and State Senator Vincent Hughes, was an important avenue for advocating for the urgent resources we know are needed to ensure that our schools are free from environmental toxins.

AFTPA President Arthur Steinberg:

In 2018, Healthy Schools Pennsylvania released a report concerning radon, water and lead testing, indoor air quality, artificial playing surfaces, cleaning products, construction and renovation projects, and asthma rates, among others from public school districts in Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Washington, and Westmoreland counties. It found that 34% of the districts tested for mold in at least one of their school buildings, and asthma rates in 22 school districts exceed the state average. Full testimony right here.

PFT President Jerry Jordan:

The toxic schools crisis in Philadelphia and across the commonwealth is emblematic of just how profoundly the deep seated, systemically racist underfunding of our schools has impacted our students. Our young people, the majority of whom are Black and brown and experiencing poverty, have had to endure conditions that would never, ever be tolerated in wealthier, whiter school districts. Full testimony right here.

PFTHW Director of Enviornmental Science Jerry Roseman:

The conditions I continue to see on a regular and routine basis when I assess schools are distressing and simply have no place in an “adequate” school environment. When I see what people are facing in our school buildings, I often have a hard time believing that those we charge with protecting school students and staff are properly doing the jobs we expect them to do and in the way we expect them to do them.  Full testimony right here.

In addition to written testimony, Roseman shared a host of images that show in no uncertain terms the severity of this crisis. You can view the photos below and in his testimony.