With so much attention fixed on budgets - both state, city and Philadelphia School District - other news has gotten lost in the shuffle.
But it’s worth noting that last week, legislation advanced in Harrisburg that would directly impact the district. State Rep. Michael McGeehan (D., Phila.), a vocal critic of Superintendent Arlene C. Ackerman and the district, is the author of two amendments, one restricting bonus and other “ancillary incentive” payments for superintendents of distressed school districts, and one mandating the state Auditor General audit distressed districts every four years and notify the Department of Education if fiscal irregularities are found. (There are only two distressed districts in the state at the moment - Philadelphia and Duquesne.)
McGeehan and others have taken aim at Ackerman’s salary - nearly $350,000 in cash compensation annually, not including bonuses and other perks. She will be paid an additional $100,000 this Thursday as a retention bonus. (Ackerman has said that given the district’s current fiscal problems, she will defer - but not forego - the bonus.)
Ackerman’s compensation is “excessive,” said McGeehan, who has called for Ackerman’s ouster. “At a time when we are severely constrained on the state and local level, any additional money should be spent in the classroom.”