By Tim Jimenez

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Philadelphia School Reform Commission approved a five-year contract for its new superintendent, Dr. William Hite, who officially takes over “on or before October 1st.”

All five members voted unanimously Wednesday evening to approve the deal, officially bringing Hite on board from Prince George’s County, Maryland.

SRC Chairman Pedro Ramos called the contract another step; one forward for a financially troubled district.

“When negotiating this contract we were very mindful of the history of the school district and this agreement is a better deal economically for the taxpayers of Philadelphia than the previous two deals (given to Paul Vallas and Arlene Ackerman).”

As for the specifics in the contract, Ramos cited “common sense.”

“It’s pretty transparent as to what the economics are,” he said to reporters.

According to the contract, Dr. Hite’s base salary is $300,000 per year. Former superintendent Arlene Ackerman’s contract started at $325,000 per year with annual increases the same percentage as the one full-time school district teachers received. No such connection is in Hite’s contract.

Ackerman’s deal included a $100,000 retention bonus – none for Hite. Hite will not receive a performance bonus in his first year, but from the second year on, he is eligible for a bonus of up to 20 percent of his salary, based on criteria like bridging achievement gaps and an increase in the graduation rate.

The superintendent’s vacation time has also been reduced. Hite is given 25 days a year with three personal days – Ackerman had 34 days.

“I think it’s really important to the employees and students, to state now, that I appreciate their sacrifices and patience over the last year,” Hite said from his home in Maryland. “The road ahead is challenging but I firmly believe that we can and will tackle it only if we work together.”

As for a “late model car” that Ackerman had access to for business and personal use – use of a school district provided vehicle was nowhere to be found in the nine pages of the new superintendent’s contract.

To view the contract, CLICK HERE.

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