January 31, 2022
In response to newly released budget proposal, Jerry Jordan issued the following statement:
PHILADELPHIA—"I am very encouraged by the robust budget proposal put forth by Senate and House Democratic leaders this morning. This package of historic investments in public education is what we need, when we need it. It is past time for the Commonwealth to fully and fairly fund public education and to address the deep seated inequities that for too long have left Philadelphia's schoolchildren, a majority of whom are Black and brown and experiencing poverty, shortchanged.
"With billions of dollars in a rainy day fund, the Commonwealth has the money to pay for the programs and services our young people need. And let's be clear: there is always money for what we, as a society, prioritize.
"The budget proposal itself will not remedy decades of disinvestment. But it will put us on the right path forward. It proposes real money to invest in real, long standing issues. Further, the proposal allows for serious investments to address issues exacerbated by the pandemic.
"I was pleased to join lawmakers and advocates for the rollout of the proposal this morning, where I highlighted in my remarks the impact this financial package will have on addressing the ongoing school facilities crisis. In the 2019-2020 school year alone, eleven schools were closed due to imminent asbestos hazards. Each day, tens of thousands of students and staff are exposed to damaged asbestos, flaking lead paint, mold, faulty heating and cooling systems, and so many other conditions that quite frankly would never be tolerated in a wealthier, whiter school district.
"Further, amidst a global pandemic the likes of which none of us has ever seen, securing even the most fundamental safety provisions for our schools has been yet another painful reminder of just how devastating the infrastructure crisis is in our schools. The Full Funding Budget will invest $1.1 Billion in facilities in order to address this crisis and move us towards equity.
"The Full Funding Budget does not stop there. It provides a host of absolutely essential investments including the following:
- $1.1 billion into the Fair Funding Formula
- $750 million into Level Up (targets 200 districts with the most inequitable funding, and largest adequacy gap)
- $1.1 billion into school facilities
- $250 million into historic staffing problems
- $125 million into mental health supports
- $100 million into academic supports
"The Full Funding Budget is forward-thinking and a real blueprint for how we as a Commonwealth must show--with real investment--that we truly prioritize our young people. Passing the Full Funding Budget means a better tomorrow for our young people, and we look forward to tirelessly advocating for its passage."