PFT releases results of American Rescue Plan spending priorities survey

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April 28, 2021
 
PHILADELPHIA—Today, at a City Council Committee on Education hearing, PFT President Jerry Jordan delivered testimony outlining the results of a community survey on education spending priorities for the more than $1Billion influx of funds for the School District of Philadelphia.
 
President Jordan's full testimony, along with the results of the survey, can be found here. The survey results can be found here.
 
From March 19th through April 25th, the PFT, in partnership with the Fund Our Facilities Coalition, issued a survey to identify issues of top priority in the allocation of the American Rescue Plan funding. 
 
With the School District of Philadelphia set to receive more than $1Billion in one time funding, it is imperative that community input be incorporated into the spending plan. Over 4,600 respondents completed the survey, with a vast majority of the respondents being PFT members. Their insight, as well as the insight of parents, students, and community members is invaluable. 
 
The top three identified priorities included the following:
 
  • The first priority was facilities remediation and/or modernization, with nearly 81% including it as a key priority, and nearly 75% including it in their top three priorities.
  • The second priority was mental health supports for students, with nearly 65% including it as a key priority, and 47% including it in their top three priorities.
  • The third priority was classroom supplies, including books and technology, with nearly 57% including it as a key priority, and nearly 32% including it in their top three priorities. 
 
In his testimony, Jordan noted: "It is imperative that this funding not be used as a way for the city, state, or even the federal government to shirk their ongoing responsibility to provide our children with the services and schools they deserve. This funding will not, and cannot, make up for decades of disinvestment in public education. The city has done yeoman’s work in the past number of years to increase funding for public education, often in response to the state legislature’s refusal to provide a thorough and efficient public education. That work must continue. Ongoing, sustainable investment is essential."
 
 
Jordan outlined the urgency behind the stated funding priorities, highlighting what could be accomplished by effectively spending the American Rescue Plan Funding. Jordan concluded by stating, "The work ahead of us is crucial. We have one chance to get this spending right, and even when we do, our work will be far from over."
 
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Read Jerry Jordan's testimony:

 

Read the Survey Report: