Phila. School Reform Commission Gets New Chair, New Member

By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Former Philadelphia city councilman Bill Green is now officially the chairman of the School Reform Commission.

He and commissioner Farah Jimenez were sworn in this afternoon.

Family Court administrative judge Kevin Dougherty gave the oath of office  Green and Jimenez.

Afterward, Green acknowledged the school district’s financial difficulties while pressing for reforms in the work rules covering teachers.

“It doesn’t matter how much money we have,” he said.  “If we have the current rules in schools, we will not be successful at turning those schools around.”

The teachers’ union has been working without a new contract since August.   Schools superintendent William Hite, who attended the swearing-in, says change has to happen, “because we are approaching a different… a second school year.  We don’t have time to continue with the status quo.”

Jimenez gave Green a congratulatory gift of a pen set, joking that “the chairman’s going to be signing a lot of papers.”

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