The Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers endorsed Bill Peduto Tuesday for the Democratic nomination for mayor of Pittsburgh.
"What put Bill at the head of the pack is he really knows about our school district; he comes with concrete ideas,'' said Nina Esposito-Visgitis, the president of the school union. Noting that Mr. Peduto had been a regular presence at the union's town meetings, she said, "That spoke volumes to us.''
All of the candidates in the Democratic contest have spoken of the need for a more cooperative relationship between the city and the separately governed school district, although none of the four candidates have suggested any change in their formal relationship.
Mr. Peduto said that the city could do more to assist the district with "wraparound services'' such as public safety. He spoke of the need for enhanced early childhood education to ensure that more students meet the achievement standards needed to take advantage of the Pittsburgh Promise's tuition assistance program, although he did not propose any specific financial role for the city in that effort.
The other candidate in the May 21 primary are former Auditor general jack Wagner, state Rep. Jake Wheatley, and community activist A.J. Richardson.