The Philadelphia Federation of Teachers says it’s “raining” because of the asbestos crisis, so it's time to dip into the state's $340 million Rainy Day Fund.
The union is joining several lawmakers and activists in calling on Gov. Tom Wolf to declare a state of emergency — an emergency made all the more critical with the latest closures of Barton and Sullivan elementary schools, according to PFT President Jerry Jordan.
“The need is great,” he said, “and the need for closing the schools because they're not safe for kids is an emergency. It is a crisis that has to be dealt with. And it's going to take the funding in order to do it.”
The emergency declaration would allow the state to allocate money from its Rainy Day Fund.
The teachers union, through the Fund Our Facilities Coalition, is repeating its call for $170 million to tackle environmental problems in the city's aging school buildings.
However, says a two-thirds vote from the legislature is required before that could happen.