Philadelphia – October 16th, 2013 – State Senator Vincent Hughes released the following statement today in response to Governor Tom Corbett’s decision to release the $45 million grant for the School District of Philadelphia:

“I am relieved that Gov. Corbett has finally indicated he will release the $45 million grant for the School District of Philadelphia. My colleagues and I have been calling for this action since early July when the General Assembly approved this payment as part of the state budget agreement. Our schools are currently operating with an unprecedented and unacceptable shortage of teachers, nurses, counselors and other personnel. I look forward to the School District releasing information about how these additional funds will be used to restore critical staff.

It’s now time for Gov. Corbett to encourage the School Reform Commission to settle negotiations with the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers in a fair manner and refrain from escalating the situation by trying to impose terms. The current fiscal crisis should not be used as an excuse to demand unnecessary concessions from hard-working teachers.

I remain deeply concerned that Philadelphia’s public schools do not have enough funding from state government. Since taking office, Gov. Corbett has cut more than $1 billion from education statewide and $300 million from the School District of Philadelphia. Even with the $45 million grant, Philadelphia and school districts throughout the state should receive a substantially greater share of state resources. Simply put, we need to be talking about how our schools thrive instead of just survive.”

Senator Vincent Hughes represents the 7th Senatorial District, which includes parts of Philadelphia and Montgomery County. He is also Democratic Chairman of PA Senate Appropriations Committee.