By Tim Jimenez

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The second finalist in the running to be the next Superintendent of the School District of Philadelphia made his pitch to the public Tuesday night.

Dr. William Hite, superintendent of Prince George’s County Public Schools for three plus years now, was asked bluntly by one community member why he wants the job, both personally and professionally.

“Because of the passion I see today in and around this district,” Hite answered. “I think that the collective will exists, no question about it.”

The will to turn a school district around that faces major budget issues, which he says he was part of it in Maryland, which had tens of millions in decreased revenue the past few years.

“There were consequences associated with that. But during that same period of time, we’ve seen pretty significant achievement in student outcomes,” Hite said.

Hite adds that inner cities across the country face similar problems and he’s willing to tackle them here in what he calls a unique opportunity.

A school district spokesman says the School Reform Commission hopes to make a decision this week or next on whether Dr. Hite or Pedro Martinez of Clark County, Nevada will get the job.

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