News from the SRC; legislator calls for elected school board

Superintendent Arlene C. Ackerman (center) with member Joseph Dworetzky (left) and Chair Robert L. Archie Jr. at the school commission meeting earlier this year. (File photo: Ron Tarver / Staff Photographer)

Hi, all. Today's SRC meeting, which I'll be live Tweeting, begins at 2 p.m. The agenda doesn't give us many clues about what to expect, but there's always some kind of news, and today should be no exception, especially with all the budget/superintendent/governance questions in the air just now.

The latest out of Harrisburg: State Rep. Angel Cruz (D-Phila.) has blasted his colleagues in the Legislature for failing to pass laws that would prohibit bonus payments for superintendents and allow lawmakers to remove superintendents who are not performing effectively.

The legislation was introduced by State Rep. Michael McGeehan (D., Phila.), a vocal critic of Philadelphia Superintendent Arlene C. Ackerman.

“It is a sad day for Philadelphia, and Pennsylvania when our lawmakers turn their backs on measures that are aimed at protecting educational opportunities for our children,” Cruz said in a statement. “My colleagues chose to put education second and continue the lack of oversight over the way money is spent in the School District of Philadelphia.”

Cruz has introduced a bill to create a referendum that would allow voters to weigh in on whether the SRC should remain or go away in favor of an elected school board.  Rep. Louise Williams Bishop has introduced similar legislation, which has not advanced.

“The SRC clearly is not properly managing the superintendent or the district,” Cruz said. “My bill would give voters the option to choose the people who are running our school district.”

Cruz earlier introduced a resolution urging Mayor Nutter to prevent Ackerman’s contract from being extended a year, to 2014.  That legislation went nowhere.

Stay tuned.

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