PHILADELPHIA, Oct 27, 2014 – State Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams today urged the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers and the School Reform Commission to immediately return to the negotiating table.
“This debate should be about what is in the best interests of Philadelphia’s 200,000-plus schoolchildren who are enrolled in public and public charter schools,” Williams said.
“As the son of a retired Philadelphia public school teacher, I believe that great teachers lead to prepared and successful graduates. Every day that this legal battle continues, taxpayer and teacher dollars are wasted.
“As long as the SRC exists,” Williams said, “we must have partnership, not partisanship. And the seeds of a positive partnership between the PFT and the SRC will be sown through successful negotiation, not extended litigation. This is about our kids, and the future we owe them. We can’t achieve high-quality education for every child with well-paid lawyers in a courtroom. We need well-paid teachers in a fully funded classroom. That must be our goal.”
Williams noted that both parties have much more in common than is reported.
“Both parties agree on the need for concessions on healthcare benefits,” he said. “All issues need to be put on the table for immediate consideration. Let’s get focused on what really matters. Both sides need to negotiate a settlement that is in the best interests of Philadelphia’s public school students, and they need to do it now.”