PHILADELPHIA – (February 4, 2020) Today, Mayor Jim Kenney, City Council President Darrell L. Clarke, School District of Philadelphia (SDP) Superintendent Dr. William Hite, and Daniel J. Hilferty, Chair of the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia and CEO, Independence Health Group, applauded Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s budget request to provide additional funding for Pennsylvania schools to address environmental remediation issues, particularly lead and asbestos abatement in Philadelphia.
“We commend the Governor’s effort to focus on the state’s aging school buildings as the investment can no longer wait. On behalf of our school children and teachers, we appreciate the Governor’s leadership on this issue and the urgent need for additional state support,” Mayor Kenney said.
“On behalf of the Chamber’s membership, we are pleased to support the Governor’s call for additional funding for our schools,” said Chamber Chair Daniel J. Hilferty. “Ensuring our kids have a healthy environment in which to learn is critical to the future success of our city and state. We look forward to continuing to work with Governor Wolf and members of the General Assembly on this important issue.”
School districts across the Commonwealth have school buildings requiring billions of dollars in renovations, remediation, and repairs. In Philadelphia, the School District has $4.5 billion in deferred maintenance and $3 billion in future capital needs.
“We’re glad to hear the Governor’s proposal to invest $1.1 billion to reduce risks to Pennsylvanians from lead and asbestos in our schools, childcare centers, homes, and other public buildings,” said Philadelphia Council President Darrell L. Clarke. “These investments are absolutely necessary – especially in our public schools. We welcome them.”
“We thank Governor Wolf for the bold facilities funding proposal. His plan would provide our School District, and many others across the Commonwealth, with much needed funding to address the pressing environmental and structural needs of our schools. I look forward to working with my colleagues here in Philadelphia and across the state as well as with our elected officials in Harrisburg to help advance a final budget that provides Pennsylvania’s public school students with the high quality, environmentally safe schools they deserve.” said Hite.
For more information on the Commonwealth Budget, please visit www.budget.pa.gov.
Liz Ferry, Chamber of Commerce
Deana Gamble, City of Philadelphia