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PFT President Jerry Jordan on District's Delay in Reopening School Buildings

February 17, 2021

News Release: Philadelphia Federation of Teachers - Jerry T. Jordan, President

PHILADELPHIA—"The School District made the right decision to delay the reopening of school buildings, as far too many questions regarding safety of buildings for reoccupancy remain unanswered. The Federation's position that we are unable to verify the safety of buildings for reoccupancy--and in fact we know that many buildings are unsafe for reoccupancy--remains unchanged. We continue to work through many of these issues specifically regarding ventilation with the neutral third party. Our goal of returning to school buildings when it is safe to do so also remains unchanged.

"The Union triggered the intervention of the neutral third party, as negotiated by the PFT and District, when we believed that the District was pursuing a reopening plan that did not meet necessary safety metrics, particularly surrounding ventilation. It is unfortunate and disappointing that Dr. Hite lays the blame squarely on the PFT for utilizing a process to which he agreed, and a process that is designed to keep students and staff safe.

"Students and staff cannot learn and teach if they are ill or worse. As we continue to work towards the safe reopening of school buildings, our members will continue to do what they have been doing throughout this pandemic--going above and beyond to ensure that, even in terribly challenging circumstances, they are teaching the students they serve."


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