PHILADELPHIA – May 23, 2018 – State Senator Vincent J. Hughes (D-Philadelphia/Montgomery County) is calling on city leaders to authorize deep-cleans in “toxic” Philadelphia schools and is asking the community to take action in the fight against toxic schools.
Pointing to the unsafe and unsanitary conditions in many district buildings, Senator Hughes sent a letter to Mayor Jim Kenney and Philadelphia School District Superintendent William Hite, requesting an immediate initiative to clean up the problem schools in Philadelphia during the summer break. Using the hashtag #MyPhillySchool Senator Hughes also wants students, parents, teachers, custodial staff, and anyone who works at a school building to take pictures of the conditions and share on social media tagging @PaSenateDems, @PASenateGOP, @PaHouseDems, and @PAHouseGOP. City schools need nearly $5 billion to fix outstanding repairs and the images will help leaders see the need for a solution, Senator Hughes said. (Watch: Senator Hughes Video Plea)
“This dire situation has been the norm for too long and we must do everything we can to help our children,” Senator Hughes said. “We have to provide a solution to these deplorable conditions so students across the city can learn in safe and healthy environments.”
Senator Hughes was joined by Senator Art Haywood (D-Philadelphia/Montgomery) and youth advocates at a news conference Wednesday morning asking for action in Philadelphia schools. Senator Haywood said the lead, asbestos, mold and other important major maintenance issues have to be addressed for the health and safety of everyone who enters the schools.
“The conditions in our schools is unacceptable and it is time for the city, school district, state legislature and the Governor to act on behalf of the children,” Senator Haywood said.
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.
“The conditions in Philly schools are probably the most visible examples of inequitable funding across the state,” Senator Hughes said. “No parent would want their kids to go to school in these conditions but we have gotten to a point where we expect certain populations to accept schools with fewer resources. It is a tragedy.”
Senator Hughes has been working on legislative solutions to the crisis, having his resolve doubled after seeing the school conditions firsthand during visits and receiving letters from several Cassidy Elementary students. Reporting by The Philadelphia Daily News/Inquirer has since exposed the situation to the masses.
Senator Hughes is available to the media upon request. Download the letter to School District of Philadelphia.
Press contact: Ben Bowens 215-879-7777 x 236, firstname.lastname@example.org