Committee of Seventy reacts to Ackerman buyout

    Criticism and calls for transparency led many private donors to pull their gifts to the $405,000 Arlene Ackerman buyout fund. So yesterday, the School Reform Commission made the choice to foot the entire $905,000 buyout for the ex-School District of Philadelphia superintendent.

    That, of course, drew criticism as well.

    “It’s good that the public doesn’t have to worry who is anonymously underwriting this deal and why,” said Zack Stalberg, president and CEO of government watchdog group Committee of Seventy. “But Philadelphia has been tarnished by a controversy that stems from a secret deal that should never have been attempted in the first place.”

    Seventy wants the SRC to explain publicly why it made the decision to use public funds for the buyout instead of pursuing legal action against Ackerman, whose disparaging remarks about the district and CFO Michael Masch may have violated her exit agreement.

    When the new buyout deal was announced, the SRC said it would focus its efforts on education, not a legal battle.

    Feed the Feed: Would you have gone ahead with the buyout or taken Ackerman to court?

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