Is the Arlene Ackerman scandal over? Not if citizens give a darn.
The embattled superintendent of public schools, who stepped down after earning a big, fat F in compassion and public relations, has received the $905,000 buyout awarded her by her lackeys on the School Reform Commission, but the folks who allowed this atrocity should not get off so easily. They must be held accountable to the public.
Taxpayers, the city controller, the city inspector general, the state auditor general, and even the state attorney general should demand SRC members and school district officials fully and accurately answer these very disturbing questions:
1. Why did the SRC extend Dr. Ackerman’s ridiculously generous contract to 2014 while the school district was (and remains) in dire financial straits?
2. Why did the SRC take that action just before it essentially fired her?
3. Why did the SRC go through with the payoff despite Dr. Ackerman’s public blasting of district officials — a violation of her contract?
4. Why did Mayor Michael “New Day, New Way” Nutter work behind the scenes to ask anonymous people to donate to a “charitable fund” that was to cover $405,000 of the buyout — before the donors backed out of the shady deal?
5. How does Dr. Ackerman sleep at night?
The Pennsylvania Legislature should pass a bill that would disband the SRC and allow Philadelphians to elect their school board, as well as an unrelated measure that would prohibit teachers from striking. Both bills deserve swift passage. The kids will thank us someday.
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