HARRISBURG – In a statewide Zoom press conference, PA Senators, joined by House members and school district superintendents, appeared before schools that need repair. They called for using part of the state’s 3 billion dollar surplus, along with 600 million dollars of federal funding from the American Rescue Plan, to provide healthy learning environments for teachers and students across the Commonwealth. They pointed out that many schools in urban, suburban and rural districts were built in the 1920s and 30s. Many have asbestos and lead paint, and most are in need of repairs or rebuilding. Students and teachers complain of water leaks, rodent infestations and crumbling walls at schools all over Pennsylvania. COVID-19 has shown the need for removing health hazards from classrooms and providing proper ventilation systems. Pennsylvania’s six neighboring states – Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and West Virginia – all have existing programs to deal with health and safety hazards in their public school buildings. And the Senators point out that repairing our school buildings can create more than 16,600 jobs.