By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The new head of the School Reform Commission presides over his first meeting today. Pedro Ramos says he wants to keep a tighter watch on school district finances.

Pedro Ramos says, with his experience as the head of the old school board and as city managing director, he’ll bring a new perspective and deeper scrutiny as the new chair of the SRC.

“I don’t know that I come with magic bullet answers to big and longtime problems, but I think that the second time around, I have different and more questions.”

One question is finances. Ramos says the district has a structural deficit and one way to address it is to have commission committees watching the money.

“I do anticipate that the SRC will have some operational changes in how it oversees the finances of the school district.”

He warns that the district’s financial challenges are as big as or bigger than they’ve been, in the past.

Ramos promises transparency by action, not by posturing. “I don’t know that you will see me or other SRC members making a lot of speeches about how we would like the SRC to be. I think that what you will see is our conducting ourselves in a way that is very deliberate about the seriousness of the work that’s ahead of us.”

He says he’d like to wait until the SRC is at its full complement of five members, before launching the search for a new superintendent.

Reported by Mike DeNardo, KYW Newsradio 1060

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