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PFT President Jerry Jordan on Ongoing School Funding Lawsuit

January 10, 2022

In advance of Philadelphia witnesses being called to the stand in the landmark school funding lawsuit, PFT President Jerry T. Jordan issued the following statement:

PHILADELPHIA—"The case laid out by the prosecutors and witnesses in the landmark school funding lawsuit has been stark. For decades, this commonwealth has shirked its constitutional responsibility to provide every child across Pennsylvania with a thorough and efficient public education. As Philadelphia's witnesses begin to take the stand, we know that the extreme inequities and injustices will be laid bare even further. We have supported the lawsuit from the start and filed an amicus brief in support of the plaintiffs. 

PFT President Jerry Jordan on Updated CHOP & PDPH COVID Guidance

January 6, 2022

PHILADELPHIA—"I am deeply concerned by the new K12 guidance put forth by CHOP's Policy Lab as well as by the PDPH. Again, I want to be clear: this union wants schools to be open for in-person learning.

"We are encouraged that CHOP continues to recommend universal masking, regardless of vaccination status. Recent research shows that the use of a high quality (approved KF94, KN95, or N95) mask-- or at the very least, a double mask of combined surgical/cloth variety is absolutely essential; and in fact, PDPH recommends this approach. But the reality is that these resources are not provided to schools. Roughly 35% of schools have reported lack of mask supplies, and those that have masks are certainly not of the KF94, KN95, or N95 variety. And double masking is certainly not taking place or being recommended in any systemic way. As such, we are even more concerned by CHOP's 'mask to stay' guidance.

"Further, we are particularly concerned regarding the new recommendations regarding testing amidst an unprecedented COVID surge, with positivity rates approaching 40% in Philadelphia. For all practical purposes, the guidance permits the cessation of testing requirements for asymptomatic individuals as well as for individuals with mild symptoms. 

PFT President Jerry Jordan Provides Update on COVID Response

January 5, 2022

PHILADELPHIA—"First, I would be remiss if I did not recognize the absolute horror that unfolded in Fairmount this morning. The PFT mourns the devastating loss of thirteen lives, including seven children, in this catastrophic tragedy. Our words are certainly insufficient, but we send our deepest condolences to the families, loved ones, and school communities affected by this tragedy.

"In order to keep the District informed of ongoing concerns regarding their untenable approach to school operation during this unprecedented virus surge, we reissued our survey of PFT Building Representatives to once again quantify the deep concerns we have around the COVID mitigation measures within our school buildings. 

"Today, building representatives again completed a daily report back survey which detailed conditions in schools. We received 147 responses, which detailed the following:

Jerry Jordan on District's Untenable Reopening

January 4, 2022

PHILADELPHIA—"Instead of heeding our call for a 7-day pause on in-person learning to effectively plan for adequate mitigation measures, the District undertook an outrageous eleventh-hour plan that parents and educators alike learned about on social media late last evening. I was stunned yet unsurprised to learn that the list of schools impacted continued to expand until nearly midnight.

"This failure to plan left parents, students, and educators scrambling yesterday evening and today. Amidst a 38% positivity rate in the City of Philadelphia, this approach is simply obscene.

"At nearly every level, today has been chaotic and entirely untenable.

PFT President Jerry Jordan on the Continued Escalation of Violence in Philadelphia

November 29, 2021

PHILADELPHIA—"I am outraged and heartsick that during the last several days, we have seen a further intensification of deadly violence in our beloved city. This afternoon, in broad daylight, while waiting for the bus, a young boy of only 14 years old was gunned down. Just yesterday, a 16 year old boy, Kanye Davis, was slain after being shot at least 8 times. Also yesterday, 21 year old Temple student Samuel Sean Collington was gunned down in an attempted robbery. All were students with their whole lives ahead of them, whose families, friends, and communities of loved ones are now left enduring the trauma of their loss.

PFT President Jerry Jordan on the Ongoing Scourge of Violence in Philadelphia

November 23, 2021

On the ongoing crisis of violence, PFT President Jerry Jordan issued the following statement:

PHILADELPHIA—"The level of loss, heartbreak, and of lives stolen and cut short due to the ongoing scourge of violence in Philadelphia is simply horrific. A multi-pronged approach to this emergency is desperately needed, and we need additional supports in our schools to provide needed resources for our young people.

PFT President Jerry Jordan on the House Passage of Build Back Better

November 19, 2021

PHILADELPHIA—"The Build Back Better act is a really big deal for Philadelphians, for Pennsylvanians, and for the entire nation. Quite frankly, it is a transformative bill that should serve as a very clear indicator that President Biden's agenda is strong, forward thinking, and driven by a deep commitment to bettering the lives of millions of people. 

"It is hard to overstate the impact this bill will have on Pennsylvanians. In many ways, it is a culmination of years of advocacy efforts. We have, year after year, fought tirelessly for the programs and services that BBB delivers. And yet, we should also see this as a new beginning-- an opportunity and obligation to do better, to do more, and to press forward. 

"I thank the members of the Philadelphia delegation who voted in favor of the bill. Despite Kevin McCarthy's most unhinged efforts to stymie free Pre-K and the entire bill, the will of the people prevailed today. I urge the Senate to immediately consider BBB and swiftly move it to the President's desk. The time is now.

PFT Testimony at Council Hearing on Facilities, Presentation of Letters Concerning Crisis

November 5, 2021

PHILADELPHIA—Today, PFT President Jerry Jordan and PFT Health & Welfare's Director of Environmental Science Jerry Roseman delivered testimony before City Council's License and Inspection Committee. They spoke in favor of Councilmember Derek Green's Bill 210865, which would create a series of oversight mechanisms geared towards addressing the School District's ongoing mismanagement of the facilities crisis.