Will the fallout from Arlene Ackerman’s departure fizzle when Ackerman finishes her media blitz, or are there real issues of good government that need to be resolved before Philly can truly move on from the Ackerman era?
Ackerman was bought out of her contract to run the Philadelphia School District for $905,000 — $500,000 coming from taxpayer money, and $405,000 from anonymous private sources. Plus a bunch of benefits. All of which raises the question: Why did the School Reform Commission sign a contract like this in the first place?
There’s also the question of the anonymous donors. Someone gave a substantial amount of money to help buy out Ackerman, effectively as a favor to public officials. Do they expect something in return? The state Auditor General wants to know: He’s announced a probe into the arrangement.
On this week’s It’s Our Money podcast, Doron Taussig and Holly Otterbein discuss whether the Ackerman era is really over – and whether there’s anything the Nutter administration or SRC can do to help move the city past it.
It’s Our Money” is a joint project between Philadelphia Daily News and WHYY, funded by the William Penn Foundation.