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NBCPhiladelphia.com - Katy Zachry
Philadelphia school superintendent Arlene Ackerman is stepping down, effective immediately. She's being bought out of her contract to the tune of $905,000.
After rumors of buyouts and overall unrest about Arlene Ackerman’s high salary and job performance, the embattled administrator will no longer be superintendent of Philadelphia School District, according to a statement by Ackerman, Mayor Michael Nutter and a chairperson for the School Reform Commission Monday.
Ackerman will be paid $500,000 from the school district and $405,000 from anonymous private donations to leave the district's highest office, according to a Philadelphia School District spokesperson.
The School Reform Commission approved the deal on Wednesday. Angry citizens demanded to where the donations are coming from.
“I am truly grateful for having had the opportunity and honor to serve the children and parents of Philadelphia," Ackerman said in a statement.
Ackerman has been noticeably absent from school meetings and district functions in the past two weeks, but it took until Monday for confirmation to come that the school chief is out of the position.
Throughout the joint statement School Reform Commission Chairperson Robert L. Archie Jr. and Nutter repeatedly praise Ackerman for her work, and give no negative reason as to why her contract will be bought out.
“She took on many of the deep-seated, systemic issues that have been facing our schools for decades, such as low-performing schools long neglected, the right-sizing of the District’s aged facilities and new accountability measures for staff," Nutter said in a statement. "During her tenure, test scores continued their upward trend, graduation rates improved and parents of school children became more involved with their schools. "
Ackerman’s deputy Leroy Nunery will act as interim superintendent.