After Arlene Ackerman spent two days refuting the mayor's version of her dismissal as schools superintendent in interviews with Education Week, Fox 29 and WURD-FM, Nutter finally gave a rebuttal of sorts this morning.
He said Ackerman's comments were rife with "mischaracterizations" and she was "wrong," but he refused to address many of her specific allegations.
"It’s clear that the former superintendent is on what amounts to a media tour. She has obviously a fair amount of time to talk and run around and do what she’s actively engaged in," Nutter said. "On the other hand, I have a job, a city to run, and I’m very focused on the fact that schools open in less than two weeks."
(To recap, Ackerman has said Nutter was the driving force behind her ouster after she refused to play budget politics with the funding for full-day kindergarten. Nutter said the decision to buy out her contract was solely the work of the School Reform Commission, although he agreed and even made some calls to raise private money to contribute to her $905,000 parachute.)
Nutter did say this morning that the state cut the funding for full-day kindergarten, so placing that on the chopping block wasn't a gambit to get more money out of City Council and the Legislature.
"In an honest budgeting process, if your funding source for a program no longer exists … you can’t put it in your budget as being paid for," he said. "The former superintendent can say whatever she wants to say. It’s America. She’s wrong. That’s what I’m saying."
In other news, Nutter called the perp in a recreation center shooting last night -- the second this week -- an anatomical word unprintable in a family newspaper. This being a blog, the word was asshole. No one was killed in the shooting, and police are investigating.
All of Nutter's comments came after he held a news conference with the football coaches and "spirit squads" from Temple and Villanova to promote next week's Mayor's Cup game at the Linc. This was the second news conference this week hijacked by Ackerman developments.
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