Hillary Linardopoulos, legislative director for Philadelphia Federation of Teachers used just one sentence to describe the need for continued calls to fund school facility maintenance and improvement projects:
“It’s the year 2023 and we are here once again, having to make the case for why kids and educators deserve to learn and work in an environment that does not poison them,” Linardopoulos said at a press conference in the state Capitol on Wednesday.
Linardopoulos was joined by state lawmakers, including Elizabeth Fiedler, D-Philadelphia, Peter Schweyer, D-Lehigh, and Carol Hill-Evans, D-York, to urge the General Assembly to fund school facilities through legislation such as Fiedler’s Solar for Schools bill and to ensure that the 2023-24 state budget includes allocations for school facility maintenance and improvements.
State lawmakers and advocates cited testimony from the fair funding case, in which the Commonwealth Court deemed the current model of funding public schools unconstitutional, as proof of the need to invest more in school facility maintenance and improvement projects.
“As we know, for generations students across Pennsylvania have been sent into buildings where they could get hurt from exposed asbestos or other serious hazards,” Fiedler said. “These problems are not new, but the opportunity in front of us in the budget we are working on in the next couple of weeks.”
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