Philadelphia teachers' union urges Gov. Wolf to declare state of emergency on asbestos in schools

The Philadelphia Federation of Teachers (PFT) is expected to call on Gov. Tom Wolf (D-Pa.) to declare a state of emergency to combat the ever growing asbestos problem that has impacted school across the city. 

The announcement is expected during a news conference Thursday afternoon at the Cione Rec Center in Kensington. This will mark the second time the union has urged Gov. Wolf to declare a state of emergency.

On Wednesday night it was announced that Clara Barton Elementary School and James Sullivan Elementary Schools would close for two days due to the discovery of asbestos. In total, 10 Philadelphia school have been shut down over the last several months due to the harmful material.


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PFT President Jerry Jordan says it is time for Gov. Wolf to use "rainy day" funds to aid in immediate remediation efforts across the district.

"With a balance of more than $340 Million, the rainy day fund must be utilized for the emergency conditions we are encountering in our schools on a daily basis," Jordan said in a press release. 

Earlier this month, Wolf proposed a $1 billion plan that would target the remediation and cleanup of lead and asbestos in schools, day cares, homes and public water systems. 

"The Governor has taken the important step of proposing a $1 Billion plan for lead and asbestos remediation, and the PFT will continue to advocate for its passage," Jordan said. 

Jordan, Pennsylvania Senator Larry Farnese and several state representatives will be in attendance at the Thursday afternoon's press conference. 


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