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April 26, 2024

This afternoon, PFT President Jerry T. Jordan joined a coalition of elected, labor, and community partners for a pro-public education press conference. The event was co-hosted by Representatives Roni Green and Elizabeth Fiedler. In addition to the PFT, partners participating include the Philadelphia Council AFL-CIO, AFT Pennsylvania32BJ SEIUUNITE HERE Local 634POWER InterfaithMake the Road PA, NAACP Pennsylvania, League of Women Voters, Education Voters of Pennsylvania, and DSA. Additional elected partners also joined.

View photos, videos, and quotes from the events on our Twitter/X.  

Additional details below.


Pictured: Senator Vincent Hughes and coalition partners during press event.

Participants Included:

  • Rev. Michael Caine, POWER Interfaith
  • Rep. Roni Green, HD190
  • Jerry Jordan, Philadelphia Federation of Teachers
  • John Bynum, 32BJ SEIU
  • Lúa, Make the Road PA
  • Karalynn Derstine, Education Voters PA
  • Nicole Hunt, UNITE HERE Local 634
  • Arthur Steinberg, AFT Pennsylvania
  • Sen. Vincent Hughes, SD7
  • Sen. Nikil Saval, SD1
  • Sen. Sharif Street, SD3
  • Sen. Christine Tartaglione, SD2
  • Joan Duvall-Flynn, League of Women Voters PA
  • Thelma Clements, Philadelphia Council AFL-CIO
  • City Councilmember Nina Ahmad
  • Carmella Green, Office of Councilmember Isaiah Thomas
  • Rep. Elizabeth Fiedler, HD184
  • Rep. Rick Krajewski, HD188
  • Rep. Gina H. Curry, HD164
  • Rep. Ismail Smith-Wade-El, HD49
  • Andre Carroll, Democratic Nominee for HD201

The press conference called attention to the urgency of investing in public education in the state budget and rejecting voucher schemes that siphon money from public schools.

Elected officials have begun signing on to a pro-public education document demonstrating their commitment for fighting for full, fair funding for public education and the rejection of voucher schemes. 

PFT President Jerry Jordan's prepared remarks are below and linked here.

presser header

On February 7, 2023, Judge Renée Cohn Jubelirer ruled definitively on an issue that those of us who have been in this fight for a while know deeply: the way we fund public education in this Commonwealth is unconstitutional. It is immoral.

And Judge Jubelirer has now, with finality, ordered Executive and Legislative branches of government to address this decades-long system of neglect. 

And that is the task before all of us. I am proud to be joined by so many partners, both elected allies, labor leaders, and our wonderful community allies.

When we invest in public education, we invest in children. When we invest public money in private schools, we don’t. 

Here are a few things vouchers do NOT do:

  • Vouchers do not reinvest in a system of public education that for decades has been underfunded
  • Vouchers do not provide desperately needed resources for all students across the Commonwealth regardless of their race, their gender identity, their religion, or their disability               
  • Vouchers do not actually positively impact student outcomes and achievement

And here’s just some of what vouchers DO:

  • Voucher programs often discriminate against students based on myriad of factors
  • Vouchers go, half the time, to students whose families earn more than $200,000
  • Vouchers go, a majority of the time, to students who would already be attending private schools
  • Vouchers do, unequivocally, wreak havoc on school districts and decimate public education–the research is clear on this

The work ahead should be clear to us all. It is time to fully fund public education in Pennsylvania–not only because a judge ordered it so–but because our children and educators need and deserve it. This is the future for our children, our grandchildren, and every Pennsylvania resident. 

Thank you.

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