Roebuck joins rally to demand funding to fix toxic schools in Pa.

HARRISBURG, Dec. 18 – State Rep. Jim Roebuck, D-Phila., stood with dozens of teachers, students and advocates at the state Capitol to call on the General Assembly to pass legislation that would help fix unhealthy and unsafe conditions in schools across the commonwealth.

“Many of our schools, particularly in Philadelphia, have deplorable conditions that are creating hazardous learning environments for both students and teachers alike. Because of these conditions, many students are developing health issues, which could cause life-long problems,” Roebuck said. “It is unconscionable that these schools continue to fall in disarray to the point that they have to be shut down only to provide a temporary fix.”

Roebuck, the Democratic chairman of the House Education Committee, is a co-sponsor of H.B. 1636, which would establish a $125 million grant program within the Department of Education, known as the Public School Building Emergency Repair and Renovation Grant Program. It would be funded by the state General Fund.

“We owe it to the children of the commonwealth. As elected officials, we are obligated to provide safe and healthy learning environments, not put a Band-Aid on a problem that will only get worse if drastic measures are not taken,” Roebuck said.

Roebuck is a member of Fund our Facilities, a coalition of elected leaders, labor organizations and community groups in Philadelphia and surrounding areas that is focused on securing funding for improvements to school buildings.