Members of the Legislative Black Caucus have officially joined the campaign to protect Superintendent Arlene Ackerman's job.
During a closed door meeting with the superintendent inside district headquarters earlier today, and during an impromptu news conference afterward, several politicians - including state sens. Anthony Williams, Shirley Kitchen and state Rep. Ronald Waters - vowed to get to the bottom of rumors that forces within political circles and the School Reform Commission are moving to boot her out.
Today's meeting follows last week's tempestuous SRC meeting during which Williams gave a fiery speech before the Commission, accusing them and others of marginalizing Ackerman.
Caucus members plan to draft a letter to the SRC and the mayor requesting a sitdown to discuss the matter.
"She takes the heat for some of the lack of revenue that she has to work with," Waters said. "She wants more revenue. Most of us would support her having more revenue to work with. She can’t just print the money.”
Bottom line is, added Williams, even if "she supported a budget that was totally out of balance, totally out of line, there was another party that had to sign off on it," he said referring to the SRC, which oversees the district.
"They signed off on something and then pointed their fingers in another direction,” he said.
The media was also targeted during a pro-Ackerman rally outside of district HQ, when activist Sacaree Rhodes burned a copy of the Inquirer, criticizing the paper for what she claims is racist coverage of the schools chief.
Stan Wischnowski, the Inqy's editor-in-chief, defended the paper’s coverage.
“The overwhelming response to our coverage has been largely supportive, but not everyone is going to agree," Wischnowski said. "I strongly stand by our coverage.
"Tensions are running high with finances and questions surrounding the leadership of the district. Our readers, taxpayers of the city, count on us to carry out our responsibility of the First Amendment.”
For more on this developing story, read tomorrow's Daily News.