Arlene Ackerman: I Did Nothing Wrong

"How dare he say anything. He pushed me out," Ackerman says about Mayor Nutter's criticism of her filing for unemployment

By Teresa Masterson
|  Wednesday, Nov 30, 2011  |  Updated 10:15 PM EDT
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Ask The Mayor: Ackerman and the School Reform Commission

NBCPhiladelphia.com

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Ask The Mayor: Ackerman and the School Reform Commission

Our live, televised town hall with Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter included questions about the huge payout to former school superintendent Arlene Ackerman, and the current status of the S.R.C.
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As government and school officials voiced their outrage about former Philadelphia School District Superintendent Arlene Ackerman’s decision to file for unemployment, there was one more outraged voice Tuesday: Arlene Ackerman’s.

“I did nothing wrong. How dare he say anything. He pushed me out,” Ackerman told NBC Philadelphia’s Lu Ann Cahn in a phone interview from Albuquerque.

The “he” in Ackerman’s statement is Mayor Michael Nutter.

After the school district was notified last week that Ackerman - who received a $905,000 buyout - was filing for her $573-a-week unemployment benefits, Nutter added to the disgusted voices.

"Given the financial crisis facing the Philadelphia School District and the nearly one million dollar settlement agreement that the former superintendent received, it's astounding to me that she's coming back to the district seeking unemployment compensation," Nutter said in a statement to the Inquirer.

In addition to being angry that Nutter would say this, Ackerman told NBC Philadelphia that the buyout of $905,000 may sound like a lot of money, but it’s not that simple.

Ackerman said that about 40 percent of that lump sum is going to be taken out in taxes, and $130,000 of that she will not receive for a few years.

Ackerman also said that her retirement benefits were cut in half, compared to what she would have received if she remained as superintendent.

Her bottomline is this: She doesn’t have a job and, while she’s looking, she’s not sure when she will find another job.

“I did nothing wrong,” Ackerman said.
 

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