With Philadelphia superintendent Arlene Ackerman facing a potential cheating scandal, a $629 million budget deficit, and evidence of contracts being steered toward unqualified companies, lawmakers in the city are reportedly trying to negotiate her departure. Ackerman has been superintendent of the 154,000-student district since 2008.
One sticking point, however, is that she may be entitled to a $1.5 million severance package, according to this article in the Philadelphia Inquirer.
That package leaves State Rep. Michael McGeehan, who has been calling for her ouster for months, incensed. In a statement released last week, McGeehan said that Ackerman should be fired for cause because of incompetence and negligence.
And that’s only part of the drama swirling around this situation. A school police officer and supporter of Ackerman who has staged two small rallies on the superintendent’s behalf, including one yesterday, is now under investigation. The officer has been out on disability leave since January, but has been seen up and about at the rallies.
Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and the city’s School Reform Commission aren’t talking about their plans. But it’s quite possible that Philadelphia students will start the new school year with new management at the top.
A version of this news article first appeared in the District Dossier blog.