University of Pennsylvania pledges $100 million to help Philadelphia schools

PHILADELPHIA -- The University of Pennsylvania has announced that it will contribute $100 million to the School District of Philadelphia over the next decade to deal with environmental hazards such as asbestos and lead in school buildings.

Officials said the contribution of $10 million each year for 10 years represents that largest private contribution to the school district in its history.

President Amy Gutmann said officials were proud to partner with the city and school district "to significantly improve the learning environment for Philadelphia's schoolchildren in a way that will have a long-lasting impact on the health, safety, and wellbeing of our entire city."

SEE ALSO: School District of Philadelphia continues tackling building improvements
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School District of Philadelphia Superintendent Dr. William Hite says COVID-19 may be preventing in-person learning, but it's not stopping the district from tackling much-needed building improvements head-on.

Officials said the school district has since 2018 fully stabilized lead paint in 54 elementary schools, completed work to certify an additional 25 schools as lead-safe and invested more than $23 million to complete asbestos-related projects.

President Jerry Jordan of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, which represents public school employees, called it "an extraordinary day for our schoolchildren and educators."
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