HARRISBURG – May 23, 2018 – After the release of the Pennsylvania Public School Building Construction and Reconstruction Advisory Committee (Plan CON) report Wednesday morning, Democratic Appropriations Committee Chairman Vincent J. Hughes (D-Philadelphia/Montgomery) called on members of the House and Senate to adopt and fund the committee’s recommendations.
Senator Hughes applauded the Plan CON Committee’s work and recommendations to fix crumbling schools across the state, before asking fellow lawmakers to do their part in solving this public school infrastructure crisis. As a member of the Plan CON committee, Senator Hughes visited schools from McKeesport to his own district in Philadelphia where toxic schools have become a public health crisis, which is why he is pushing for solutions.
“We appreciate the work of the committee and now it’s time to come up with a plan of action,” Senator Hughes said. “Our students are suffering and we have to do our part to help them as leaders and elected officials.”
The Plan CON committee report offered several recommendations including creating reimbursement programs for repairs and maintenance, incentivizing condition assessments and modernizing the process, Hughes said. He noted that those recommendations did not provide any specific guidelines or means for funding those initiatives, speaking to the need to act immediately.
“This is a public health crisis,” Senator Hughes said. “I’m here to start a conversation and I hope fellow legislators will work with me on fixing these issues.”
Reading from Philadelphia Daily News/Inquirer reports, Senator Hughes shared harrowing accounts of children suffering because of conditions in their classrooms. He added that while not as prevalent as Philadelphia, other school districts face the same challenges with aging and deteriorating buildings.
Estimates show a need for $8 billion to complete the necessary maintenance across the state. Senator Hughes said those issues cannot be addressed without his fellow legislators help finding creative solutions to fund the urgent need for repairs across the state’s public schools.
CONTACT: Wesley Robinson 717-787-3497 | 502.930.9773