Al Jazeera Features “Philadelphia’s Filthy Schools”

District says it needs more funds to keep classrooms clean.

Well, this is unsettling:


That’s right: Al Jazeera has been taking a look at “Philadelphia’s Filthy Schools.” And it has no shortage of bad stuff to report.

The Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, in fact, provided the network with pictures — some of them from reports by City Auditor Alan Butkovitz — documenting the mess at some 150 schools across the city where deficiencies like “rotting walls, standing water, mold and crumbling ceilings” have been found.

Al Jazeera wasn’t allowed inside any of the schools with its cameras, but the PFT pics (used here with permission) showed the network’s viewers things like clogged urinals …

philly school bathroom waste

… exposed insulation …

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… and building blocks covered with rodent poop.

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“It’s clearly not acceptable,” Jerry Roseman, an environmental scientist with PFT, told the network. “The deficiencies are egregious and the conditions are urgent and immediate.”

Danielle Floyd, the school district’s director of capital programs, said the conditions were the result of ongoing funding shortfalls. “There’s really a big challenge between our outstanding need and our ability to be able to address it,” she told Al Jazeera.

A spokesman for Mayor-elect Jim Kenney told Philly Mag the pictures are a sign it’s time for the state to step up its education funding.

“He’s aware of the unacceptable and dangerous conditions in some of our district schools,” Lauren Hitt said via email. “Those photos are incredibly disturbing, and what’s more so is that whether or not our schools need more funding still remains a question for many of our legislators in Harrisburg.”

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