Mayor refutes teachers union attack ads on YouTube

michael nutter
Mayor Michael Nutter.
Credit: Rikard Larma/Metro

Mayor Michael Nutter’s administration on Wednesday hit back at the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers’ recent television ad campaign, which accuses Nutter of conspiring with Gov. Tom Corbett to underfund city schools.

Nutter’s response came in a series of five videos posted on YouTube yesterday by the city of Philadelphia.

In one video, titled “TRUTH (Phila. Education Funding),” Nutter declares, “The PFT leadership is running false ads distorting my record on education funding and my support for our children.

“They failed to tell you that, as mayor, I’ve increased education funding by $155 million annually in the last few years while the state has cut funding by $140 million.”

He goes on to outline several unrealized proposals he’s brought to the table that ostensibly would have brought in even more money for schools, including his infamous attempt to tax soda, as well as a $2-per-pack cigarette tax and a 15 percent hike in the liquor-by-the-drink tax.

He also points out, “even right now, I’m supporting getting hundreds of millions more in recurring revenue from the state sales tax extension.”

The City Council has shown some resistance to the language of the legislation extending the state sales tax, originally set to end this year.

Though the cigarette tax was approved by City Council last spring, it has so far stalled in the state General Assembly.

Nutter goes on to point out PFT leadership did not support any of those legislative packages.

“Well, they get an F in telling the truth,” he concludes. ”We teach our students to tell the truth. Maybe the PFT leaders should learn something from our kids.”

In a second video titled, “Education Funding and our Children,” Nutter again defends his record and calls on other legislative bodies to step up for school funding.

“I’ve made the right choices for our kids,” he says.

“But let’s talk about choices. City Council: Make a choice. Pass the sales tax. State General Assembly: Make a choice. Pass the cigarette tax. And Gov. Corbett: Make a choice. Create a new statewide funding formula to fund our schools properly.”

In a third video, “Choices,” Nutter toes the same line, saying, “Let’s stop shortchanging our children with one-time funding schemes. We need long-term sustainable funding for education like the sales tax.”

The videos came despite the PFT’s agreement Wednesday to stop running their attack ads, as president Jerry Jordan is reportedly set to meet with Nutter later this week to continue negotiating the union’s contract, which expired last week.

“The mayor’s assertion that the PFT’s leadership has failed to fight for additional education funding is absolutely false,” Jordan said in a statement responding to Nutter’s videos.

“The PFT has been on the record with its avid support for a sustainable funding formula and other revenue streams for Philadelphia’s public schools.

“It is the job of our elected officials, not educators, to create budgets, pass laws and develop legislation designed to properly fund our schools. This is the reason Philadelphia’s citizens – including PFT members – vote.

“We are happy to see the mayor demonstrate a newfound zeal to pressure Harrisburg for additional education funding. We hope in the future he’ll fight alongside Philadelphia’s teachers and school employees rather than fighting against us.”

Philadelphia public schools are scheduled to open Monday.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Nearly 300 missing after South Korean ferry capsizes

Almost 300 people were missing after a ferry capsized off South Korea Wednesday, in what could be the country's biggest maritime disaster in over 20 years.

Local

Tsarnaev defense lawyers in court Wednesday, seek family…

Lawyers for accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev are due in court Wednesday to ask a judge to order prosecutors to hand over more information on the defendant's family.

News

Explosions in new Boston Marathon bomb panic, 'twisted'…

A fresh Boston Marathon terror alert, which caused Bomb Squad officers to order an evacuation while two controlled explosions were carried out, was today being…

Local

Bomb squad detonates backpacks left at Marathon finish…

The Boston Marathon finish line has been evacuated and the Copley Square T station has been closed as police investigate a suspicious package, WBZ is reporting.

Television

'Orphan Black's' Jordan Gavaris talks Felix's Season 2…

Jordan Gavaris plays heroically helpful foster sibling Felix to main clone Sarah on "Orphan Black." We talked to him about what’s ahead for him in…

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, April 15: 'New Girl,'…

'New Girl' Nick and Jess are hiding their breakup from the other loft residents. And Winston passes the police academy exam! That guy needed some…

Television

'Orphan Black' is back with 'crazy clone shenanigans'

“Orphan Black” is the little show that could. It had a few things working against it: a sci-fi premise, attracting an audience who had never…

The Word

Kelly Osbourne and Paris Hilton fight over a…

Paris Hilton and Kelly Osbourne, both members of famous families and natives of the reality boom of the early aughts, should be great friends. And yet.

MLB

MLB video highlights: White Sox beat Red Sox…

Red Sox fall on walk-off error to White Sox

NBA

NBA Draft Lottery day is May 20: Celtics…

NBA Draft Lottery day is Tuesday, May 20: Celtics percentage odds for a top overall pick

MLB

Opinion: Major League Baseball replay system shouldn't be…

Opinion: Major League Baseball replay system shouldn't be dumped just yet

NHL

Bruins - Red Wings preview: David Krejci ready…

Bruins - Red Wings preview: David Krejci ready to erupt once again in playoffs

Home

Steal home decorating tips from Nattystyle blogger Natalie…

Despite the towering ceilings and enviable exposed brick, it’s easy to see how Natalie Decleve’s apartment could be considered a challenge. Perched above the streets…

Home

How to plant a garden in the city

Small on space but big on gardening? You can still have that welcoming oasis of fresh air with an urban garden. Peter Smith, owner of…

Style

Victoria's Secret Fashion Show moving to England

It will still broadcast on CBS this fall.

Tech

Google Glass finally goes on sale for regular…

The Google Glass finally went on sale for regular people. It only costs $1,500.