Lawmaker again takes aim at Ackerman

A state legislator who’s been a vocal critic of Philadelphia schools chief Arlene C. Ackerman is again pushing for measures that would “curtail the bloated pay and benefit packages awarded to the superintendent by the School Reform Commission,” according to a release.

The move comes from state Rep. Michael McGeehan (D., Phila.) who has also called for Ackerman’s ouster. Next week, he said, he will offer three amendments to a bill that would set additional qualifications for school superintendents.

McGeehan wants to 1) give the General assembly the right to remove a superintendent by majority vote of the House and Senate, 2) mandate that the Auditor General audit the Philadelphia School District, and 3) prohibit superintendent bonuses, incentive payments, and other compensation that doesn’t include salary.

“Legislators from outside the southeast constantly point to what we in Philadelphia spend per student and the lack of academic progress,” McGeehan said in the release. “We are the poster child of public education inefficiency.”

McGeehan said the district’s reputation has worsened under Ackerman.

“City taxpayers had to foot big tax increases the last two years while the school district has wallowed in reports of questionable procurement practices, mishandled incidents of racial violence and wasteful spending practices,” he said. “It is time for that to stop.

It's not clear how much support his legislation will have.  McGeehan's previous attempts to clamp down on Ackerman and the district have failed to go anywhere.