City Hall: Mayor, Teachers’ Federation Spar as Schools Open

Headquarters of the Philadelphia School District, located on North Broad Street.

After weeks of bombardment from advertisements blasting Mayor Michael Nutter’s record on education, Nutter responded last week with a series of videos blasting the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers’ leadership and shoring up his record on education funding.

Throughout the five videos, Nutter addresses his efforts to increase funding for schools, asks City Council to pass the sales tax, calls on Gov. Tom Corbett to create a new funding formula for schools and calls out the videos against Nutter’s record on education.

“The PFT leadership is running false ads distorting my record on education funding and my support for our children,” Nutter said. “They get an ‘F’ in telling the truth. We teach our students to tell the truth, maybe the PFT leaders should learn something from our kids.”

In a statement released Wednesday, PFT President Jerry Jordan said he hopes the mayor will fight alongside the teachers and not against them. On Thursday, spokesman George Jackson said that the union didn’t want to give the advertisements any more attention.

“We’re kind of past that,” said Jackson.

Schools opened Monday after the city assured Superintendent William Hite that the district would have $50 million that Hite said was needed to open schools on time.

A spokesperson for the mayor said that the $50 million gives the district “adequate” staffing but Jackson disagreed with that assessment.

“The $50 million did prevent the district from having to prevent the schools open,” Jackson said. “But it is not accurate to say that our schools are adequately staffed because they weren’t adequately staffed to begin with.”


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