Jerry Jordan on School District’s Plan to Address Building Conditions

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November 19. 2019

School District of Philadelphia headquarters

The PFT welcomes the announcement of a $500 million bond and an “Environmental Improvement Plan” that incorporates many of the union’s recommendations for addressing issues in our school buildings.

PHILADELPHIA–“Today’s announcement of a $500 million capital improvements bond and a new action plan for school facilities is a sign of the PFT’s success in raising public awareness and spurring the District to act on school building conditions. But it’s only the beginning of the work that still needs to be done to make our schools clean, safe and healthy.

“The $500 million bond issue passed by the Philadelphia School Board is extremely good news for the children, educators, and parents that are in our school buildings every day. As Councilmember Helen Gym noted, it is the largest investment in school buildings we have seen in many years. The PFT looks forward to working with the District to ensure that these funds are used to effectively eliminate the toxic conditions in our schools.

“The District’s ‘Environmental Improvement Plan’ is an overdue but welcome step toward establishing consistent oversight and management of the infrastructure issues prevalent in our city’s schools. The plan includes many components that the PFT, through our Health and Welfare Fund, has been pushing the District for years to implement. We’re happy to see so much of our work reflected in this plan.

“We will continue our work with the Fund Our Facilities Coalition to secure an immediate $170 million investment for critical school repairs; to encourage our members to use our Healthy Schools Tracker app to report issues in our schools; and to work with the District to ensure repairs are made in a timely manner.”

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