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AFT Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Federation Of Teachers, Pittsburgh Federation Of Teachers Statement On Turzai Video

Harrisburg, PA, May 10, 2020— AFT Pennsylvania President Arthur G. Steinberg, Philadelphia Federation of Teachers President Jerry T. Jordan, and Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers President Nina Esposito-Visgitis on Sunday, issued the following statement after PA House Speaker Mike Turzai recorded a video in which he implied that Pennsylvania schools should reopen because “kids can development herd immunity” and are “not at risk unless they have an underlying medical issue” and suggested that teachers are paid enough to plan around a pandemic.

"Speaker Mike Turzai calling for schools to reopen during a global pandemic that has killed more than 80,000 Americans because 'kids can develop herd immunity' is the logical conclusion of his majority's failed, dangerous agenda: That Pennsylvania's children’s lives are literally expendable and should be sacrificed on the altar of tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy, public subsidies for charter and private schools, and greedy special interests and lobbyists -- the ranks of which he is joining after he retires this year.

“Additionally, Speaker Turzai’s suggestion that teachers are highly paid enough to also act as pediatric epidemiologists is utterly fanciful and misrepresents the work educators continue to do during this pandemic.

"Turzai has never tried to hide his shameless toadying for corporations and the wealthy. It's past time for elected leaders at all levels of government to choose a side -- and to protect the health and well being of public school students, teachers, and staff."


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