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Philly teachers endorse Kenney to be next mayor

Photo: Bas Slabbers | NewsWorks WHYY

This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.

Surrounded by teachers and students outside of John B. Kelly Elementary in Germantown, Democratic mayoral hopeful Jim Kenney accepted the endorsement Monday of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers.

Kenney, a 23-year veteran of City Council, has been a vocal supporter of teachers throughout the campaign.

"Teachers and principals did not cause the problems that we’re facing in the United States and in Philadelphia," Kenney said to the crowd. "They are holding on by their fingertips with lack of resources and lack of respect. We’re going to fight as best we can to get them resources, but they’re certainly going to have our respect."

The endorsement came after a citywide vote among the PFT’s active members, which Kenney won by a 3-1 ratio.

Ballots were cast by about half of the union’s roughly 12,000 teachers, counselors, nurses, and other school staff. Former Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham placed second.

Philadelphia Federation of Teachers president Jerry Jordan says the union is ready to throw its full weight behind Kenney, which he said will include campaigning door to door in addition to the $11,500 maximum allowable direct campaign contribution.

"He has been a staunch supporter of our city’s educators, fighting to ensure that we have a say in what happens in our schools," said Jordan.

Jordan said the PFT would not make an additional independent expenditure in support of Kenney. He wouldn’t rule out that possibility for the PFT’s parent organization, the American Federation of Teachers.

Read the rest of this story at NewsWorks

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