Sunday, December 28, 2014

Nutter says he won't respond to Ackerman's "mischaracterizations"

Mayor Nutter said he would not entertain former Schools Superintendent Arlene Ackerman who has taken to the airwaves since her departure Monday blaming her dismissal on political wrangling.

Nutter says he won't respond to Ackerman's "mischaracterizations"

Mayor Nutter said he would not entertain former Schools Superintendent Arlene Ackerman who has taken to the airwaves since her departure Monday blaming her dismissal on political wrangling.

Ackerman has said publicly that Nutter instructed School Reform Commission Chairman Robert Archie two months ago that he wanted her out.

“I’ve heard or seen some of the comments the former Superintendent has made and so first, all I’m really going to say about that is there are any number of mischaracterizations that have been laid out which I’m not going to go into detail about,” Nutter said. “Second, it’s clear that the former Superintendent is on what amounts to a media tour. She has obviously a fair amount of time to kind of talk, run around and do what she’s actively engaged in.”

Furthermore, Ackerman said Nutter asked her to use full-day kindergarten as a bargaining chip to get more money from the city and state.

“The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania eliminated the Accountability Block Grant those dollars were used to pay for kindergarten and in an honest budgeting process if your funding source for a program no longer exists and if you’re going to be honest with the public, you can’t put it in your budget as being paid for when you don’t have any money for it," Nutter said. "That’s why that particular program ended up on the list because I do honest budgets. The former Superintendent can say whatever she wants to say. She’s wrong.”

She angered Nutter in June when she left him out of the loop on her plan to save full-day kindergarten.

Ackerman’s contract granted her more than $1.5 million but she departed with $905,000 package. Anonymous private donations accounted for $405,000.

Nutter said that children are not concerned about the SRC or the Schools Superintendent but more so about their teachers and starting school Sept.6.

“And so I am not gonna spend my time engaged in a discussion with a former employee of the School District of Philadelphia who willfully as an adult signed a agreement separating her from service resulting in a pretty large financial payment,” Nutter said. “I’m just not going to spend my time doing that I have real work to do and that’s what I’m going to do.”

“The settlement was agreed to," Nutter said. "The matter is over.”

About this blog
Chris Brennan, a native Philadelphian and graduate of Temple University, joined the Daily News in 1999. He has written about SEPTA, the Philadelphia School District, the legalization of casino gambling, state government, the mayor, the governor, City Council and political campaigns. E-mail tips to brennac@phillynews.com
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Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to dehuffj@phillynews.com
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