HARISBURG, February 28, 2013 – In a letter to School Reform Commission (SRC) Chairman Pedro Ramos, Senate Democratic Appropriations Chairman Vincent Hughes (D-Phila. /Montgomery) today expressed his deep concern regarding news reports of the draconian contract proposal to the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers and called for the commissioner to seek more funding from Gov. Tom Corbett and his administration.

“The demands being sought by the SRC hurt students and families that have already made significant financial sacrifices, yet absolve Governor Corbett of his responsibility for cutting over $300 million in funding for the Philadelphia School District over the past two budget cycles,” Hughes said. “It is inexcusable for Chairman Ramos not to seek more state dollars, since it is the budget cuts by Gov. Corbett that created the budget crisis the school district is now facing.”

Hughes added that while the school district closes down schools, increases class sizes and asks for cuts in pay for teachers, the SRC finds it acceptable to only request $15 million more from the state. It is the same allocation proposed by Gov. Corbett in his budget proposal. The SRC has not, to this date, requested more funding from the state.

“The School Reform Commission should be seeking, and the Corbett Administration should be providing, significantly more financial assistance to address this crisis,” Hughes said. “Clearly Pennsylvania has the means to contribute additional funding since the Governor’s proposed budget would provide $375 million in new business tax cuts for the wealthiest corporations in the state.

“It is time that Governor Corbett’s failure to fully fund public education is recognized. The SRC must publicly request more dollars from Harrisburg and strengthen the students, faculty and staff of Philadelphia schools, and the city as a whole.”

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Read letter sent to School Reform Commissioner Pedro Ramos on February 28, 2013.