Philly schools will foot entire $905,000 bill for Ackerman buyout

The School District of Philadelphia has paid former Superintendent Arlene Ackerman a $905,000 separation payment entirely with tax dollars.

The district late Wednesday also announced its decision not to pursue legal action against Ackerman for her public criticisms of a school district official.

Under the separation agreement negotiated with Ackerman, she was to refrain from any public comments that would injure the reputation of other schools officials. However, Ackerman sharply criticized district chief financial officer Michael Masch, and officials were considering a legal action to void or reduce her separation payment.

In a statement, the School Reform Commission, which governs the district, said while it disagrees with Ackerman’s assertions, it believes its efforts are better spent on teaching kids than going to court. The statement also said most of the private donors who’d pledged $405,000 toward Ackerman’s separation payment backed out after a public controversy over the use of anonymous donations. Instead, the entire $905,000 payment will come from the beleaguered school district.

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