Pennsylvania Democrats want to use stimulus funds to fix crumbling schools
Pennsylvania’s June 30 budget deadline is fast approaching and Democrats in the Legislature are pushing for a massive one-time investment in schools plagued by crumbling infrastructure and issues like exposed asbestos and paint chipped lead.
The Commonwealth is expected to have a budget surplus of $ 3 billion and more than $ 7 billion available in US bailout dollars, which Democrats say must be used to repair some of the oldest school buildings in the country.
“It’s $ 10.3 billion to repair our schools so that every child, regardless of their community of origin, can go to a school located in a 21st century building,” Senator Vincent Hughes said on Friday. Overbrook High School in West Philadelphia. , who was forced to make tough personnel decisions on a tight budget, leaving even less money for infrastructure investments.
Penn Wood High School was built in 1927.
And the building has not been significantly altered for the benefit of children.
This is totally unacceptable, says @SenTonyWilliams.
– PaSenateDems (@PaSenateDems) June 11, 2021
For years, education activists, teachers and parents in Philadelphia have sounded the alarm bells about peeling paint, lead in water, leaking buildings and other issues with little result . In 2017, the Philadelphia School District said ongoing repairs would require approximately $ 4.5 billion. A year later, the state allocated $ 7.6 million to address some of the most pressing environmental risks, including asbestos, lead and mold.
Hughes and other leaders say it takes a lot more money to fix schools, and it’s not just buildings in Philly that need help.