Philadelphia mayoral candidates stand by Wolf’s SRC switch-up

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 Ousted School Reform Commission Chairman Bill Green (right) stands beside Superintendent William Hite at a press conference calling for more school funding. (NewsWorks file photo)

Ousted School Reform Commission Chairman Bill Green (right) stands beside Superintendent William Hite at a press conference calling for more school funding. (NewsWorks file photo)

As Bill Green vows to fight Gov. Tom Wolf’s decision to remove him as chair of the Philadelphia School Reform Commission, most of the candidates running for mayor of Philadelphia are standing by the governor.

Following an appearance at Andrew Jackson Elementary School in South Philadelphia Monday morning, former City Councilman Jim Kenney said Wolf has the right to put longtime school principal Marjorie Neff in charge.

“I think it’s awesome that a principal with that experience is leading the SRC,” he said. “She’s a terrific person, very talented and will bring a lot to the job.”

Lynne Abraham also praised Neff as a “superb choice.”

Neff, who was appointed to the SRC by Mayor Michael Nutter last summer, was the only one of the five commissioners who voted recently against approving new charter schools.

State Sen. Anthony Williams and Doug Oliver both deferred to the governor’s authority.

Williams, who is backed by pro-charter PACs, said in a statement he hopes “that whoever sits on the SRC doesn’t think about district public schools and charter public schools as opponents, and looks for ways to help all schools.”

As for Nelson Diaz, he said he doesn’t care who leads the SRC because he wants the commission abolished and to return the school district to local control. When pressed for an answer on whether he supports Wolf’s move under the current system, Diaz said, “I don’t want it controlled by the governor. I want it controlled by the mayor, so my position is let’s get rid of the SRC period.”

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