Remarks at Fair Funding Rally as prepared – Friday, November 12, 2021

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AFT Pennsylvania President Arthur Steinberg Remarks at Fair Funding Rally as prepared – Friday, November 12, 2021

Good afternoon. I’m Arthur Steinberg, President of AFT Pennsylvania which represents 36,000 teachers, paraprofessionals, school staff, and state workers across 64 local unions.

Our union represents educators from Pittsburgh to Pottstown, Allentown to Washington County, Westmoreland County to Bucks County and Scranton. While these districts vary in size, socio-economic, racial, ethnic, and geography, they are tied together by one common thread: they are perpetually underfunded by the Pennsylvania General Assembly.

Lack of broadband internet access, mold, asbestos, and lead all plague our schools—both rural and urban—and rob many children of their constitutional right to a thorough and efficient education. At the same time, in wealthier, primarily whiter school districts, students and educators benefit from robust tax bases that overburden property owners.

This day as been a longtime coming. We thank and stand tall with the plaintiffs, the advocates, the attorneys, and everyone who has been a part of this fight for a more equitable education. All our kids are entitled to the freedom to thrive in the classroom and out in the world. We cannot wait to see that freedom finally granted.

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