PFT President Jerry Jordan on Arrests in Harrisburg Civil Disobedience

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PHILADELPHIA—"I thank and commend the brave leaders--Councilmember Helen Gym, Bishop Dwayne Royster, and all of the faith leaders of POWER--for their unequivocal and unrelenting determination in fighting for equitable education funding.
 
"These leaders were arrested for advocating for our students to have school buildings free of toxins; arrested for advocating for smaller class sizes; arrested for advocating for more counselors, nurses, and librarians; arrested for advocating for all of the resources and services that our students so richly deserve, and in fact to which they are constitutionally entitled. And let's be very clear: in a wealthier, whiter school district, these are resources that are taken as a given.
 
"I am moved by and grateful to Councilmember Helen Gym, Bishop Dwayne Royster, and all of the faith leaders who so bravely put their bodies on the line today as part of our collective fight for justice for our young people. It is profoundly shameful that the state legislature continues to shirk their moral obligation to equitably fund public education. The fact that this Republican controlled state legislature continues to concoct outrageous voucher schemes at the expense of our young people is unconscionable. 
 
"The time is now to enact full and fair education funding. The time is now to end toxic schools. With billions of dollars in funding coming through the American Rescue Plan and with surpluses at the state level, there are no more excuses. The legislature and Governor have a clear choice right now. Do we, as a society, believe that every child in our Commonwealth deserves the freedom to thrive?
 
"I can't think of a better example of what the late Congressman John Lewis called 'good trouble, necessary trouble' than what these brave individuals did today. The leaders arrested very clearly laid out what is at stake this budget cycle and every day that we neglect to enact fair and equitable education funding. Everything."
 
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