Rabb joins Fund Our Facilities Coalition in calling for remedy to building concerns as schools reopen

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 8 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., has joined his voice with the chorus of lawmakers, unions and advocacy groups calling for Philadelphia School Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. and Mayor Jim Kenney to devote themselves to remedying building concerns as soon as possible. 

“I support the reopening of our schools as soon as the School District of Philadelphia plan conforms with science, is based in reality and is informed by the substantive input of all stakeholders,” Rabb said.  

A letter from Fund Our Facilities Coalition, signed by 31 lawmakers and community leaders, cited the longstanding hazardous conditions in School District of Philadelphia buildings, which have caused devastating health issues, including cancer, asthma and other breathing issues before COVID-19 became an issue.   

“Philadelphia families deserve to have complete confidence that their lives will not be put at risk when they enter a Philadelphia public school building: that remains true as relates to lead and asbestos, and now in the face of a devastating pandemic, it is doubly true as relates to the deadly COVID-19,” the letter says. “… We call for the District and the city to devote themselves to transparency about decision making and to completely remedying building concerns before proceeding to reopen schools.” 

Rabb, a longtime advocate for fair funding for public schools so that every child in every school district across the state has the same opportunity to thrive through a quality education, supports requiring 100% of state funds be distributed through the fair funding formula. He has previously introduced legislation to require that measure. He recently spoke with Gov. Tom Wolf about Wolf’s proposed 2021-22 budget, which would direct $6.4 billion through the fair funding formula.  

Rabb said he plans to visit the school buildings in his district in support of teachers, parents and students.