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Philadelphia Federation of Teachers Endorses Shapiro for Governor

PHILADELPHIA—In a vote Tuesday evening, PFT's Executive Board voted unanimously to endorse Attorney General Josh Shapiro in his candidacy for Governor: 

"The PFT's Executive Board, duly elected by the entire membership, represents more than 13,000 members of the PFT. In reviewing an endorsement request from Attorney General Shapiro, the Board unanimously voted to support his candidacy for Governor. As a body, the Board believes that Attorney General Shapiro's candidacy represents a critical inflection point not only for public education, but also for democracy as a whole. 

PFT President Jerry Jordan on Full Funding Budget Proposal

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. 

PFT President Jerry Jordan on New PDPH Guidance

January 19, 2022

PHILADELPHIA—"While we continue sound the alarm about the untenable conditions in our buildings, Philadelphia's officials continue to recommend policies misaligned with the reality of the in-school experiences. 

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: