Press Release

AFT's Weingarten and AFT Pennsylvania's Kirsch on Philadelphia's School Reform Commission Action

For Release: 

Monday, October 6, 2014


Kate Childs Graham
202/393-6354; cell 202/615-2424

Statement from American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten and AFT Pennsylvania President Ted Kirsch on this morning's action by Philadelphia's School Reform Commission. A statement from Philadelphia Federation of Teachers President Jerry Jordan will follow shortly.

"Three weeks before the gubernatorial election, this surprise early-morning School Reform Commission meeting, lawsuit and notification to employees imposing a contract and compensation cuts can only be characterized as Gov. Corbett's well-planned Hail Mary ambush. Corbett's School Reform Commission has amped up a war on teachers and support staff, who have been the glue holding Philadelphia's schools together. Clearly and recklessly, the SRC is trying to provoke a strike—since there have been no real negotiations since SRC Chair Bill Green was appointed by the governor. Green, in fact, has shown by his actions—spending his time and resources hiring lawyers and going to court—that the commission would rather attempt to impose a contract than work with teachers to figure out what is best for Philadelphia's kids.

"Pennsylvanians will not be fooled: They know that Gov. Corbett has robbed Philadelphia's schools of desperately needed funding. They know that teachers and support staff are doing everything they can to fill in the gaps. And they know we need new leadership that will reinstate a fair funding formula. Philadelphia's children deserve better."


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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.