Philly school chief taking 20 unpaid furlough days

    Arlene Ackerman, the superintendent of Philadelphia’s public schools, will take 20 unpaid furlough days to help cope with the district’s financial problems.

    She’d previously announced she would take 10 unpaid days before the end of the fiscal year June 30. Yesterday, she doubled that to 20.

    And she won’t be spending her days off at the beach — Ackerman intends to work during her furlough.

    District officials said last week that they face a potential gap of about $500 million in next year’s $3.2 billion budget. Ackerman has said major layoffs are likely.

    The Philadelphia Inquirer reports the predicted shortfall for 2011-12 is in addition to a $40 million deficit for this school year.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.