Monday, September 22, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Having her cake and gorging, too

Was Arlene Ackerman fired, laid off, bought-out or did she quit? The answer is key if she really wants to collect unemployment.

Having her cake and gorging, too

She's baaaccck. Arlene Ackerman, the controversial former Superintendent/Queen Bee of the Philadelphia School District, made headlines today for her efforts to collect unemployment on top of her nearly $1 million golden parachute.

Much of the outcry -- read this, and this -- centers on the perceived greed of the supposed champion for poor kids.

I, however, couldn't help but focus on the backstory: Ackerman seems to want people to think she quit the job on her own terms, as opposed to being fired, laid off or, in her case, paid lavishly to make like a tree and leave.

But those who walk away from employment generally don't qualify for unemployment. It's supposed to be for people who've experienced a hardship beyond their control.

Dean Weitzman, Ackerman's attorney, said she was merely taking a benefit she had contributed to, my colleague Kristen Graham reports. "She was not fired. She was not let go. She is indeed unemployed," Weitzman said. "She is taking that which she's entitled to take."

And what might she be entitled to? Based on Ackerman's $348,000 salary, she'd receive the Pennsylvania maximum: $573 a week.

-- Monica Yant Kinney

About this blog
Blinq is a news commentary blog featuring contributions from Inquirer Metro columnists Karen Heller, Kevin Riordan and Daniel Rubin.

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