AFT - Reclaiming the Promise

Philadelphia Children Deserve Better

Once again, a child in Philadelphia has been stolen from us much too soon—this time a 7-year-old from Jackson Elementary School. Once again, there was no school nurse on site.

Five years ago at Jackson Elementary, there was a full-time school nurse. Today, the dedicated nurse who has served the Jackson community for 15 years only visits on Thursdays and every other Friday.

And this isn't the first time this school year this has happened. The Philadelphia community lost Laporshia Massey, a 12-year-old who died from asthma complications that started at school.

Children's lives are at stake. Demand Governor Corbett restore Philadelphia's funding and the school nurses that protect our children.

The number of school nurses in Philadelphia has fallen from 289 to 179. Now, instead of focusing on the health needs of students at one school, nurses in Philadelphia’s public schools cover five or six schools, sometimes visiting each school only once every other week.

We don’t know if a school nurse could have saved these children. But we do know every child deserves a full-time nurse in his or her school. We do know all parents deserve to know that their child will be safe and his or her most basic needs will be tended to at school. We do know that all Philadelphia children deserve better.

Since Governor Corbett took office in 2011, school funding has been slashed by $1 billion, and he turned down Medicaid funding that could have helped many of Philadelphia’s children. Enough is enough. Send a letter demanding he restore full funding now.