Editorial: Arlene is atrocious

File this one in the chutzpah department: Arlene Ackerman, the vastly overrated, overcompensated superintendent of Philadelphia’s public schools whose clandestine, paranoid management style led to her overdue ouster in August, has filed for unemployment compensation.

That’s right up there with Willard Mitt Romney’s joke in June that “I’m also unemployed,” but this is no joke.

Word came Monday that Dr. Ackerman has filed for unemployment benefits and is eligible for $573 per week based on her salary. This is despite the $905,000 that taxpayers gave her to buy out her contract, courtesy of her former lackeys on the School Reform Commission.

Philadelphia taxpayers, including the many thousands of Northeast Philly parents who struggle to pay extra to send their kids to private and parochial schools — indeed, everybody whose tax money goes to the School District of Philadelphia — should be totally outraged by Dr. Ackerman’s gall.

All past and present SRC members who agreed to the buyout, who did not fire Dr. Ackerman for just cause (which would have precluded her buyout and right to collect unemployment benefits) and who waived the right to oppose her claim for unemployment benefits, should hang their heads in shame and face an investigation.

The Ackerman fiasco should impel the Pennsylvania Legislature to put malfeasance laws back on the books. Thankfully, state Rep. Mike McGeehan, a frequent critic of Dr. Ackerman, is pressing the state’s Department of Labor & Industry to deny her claim for unemployment benefits.

Don’t let her get away with it. ••

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