PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter is backing the decision to remove Arlene Ackerman as schools superintendent, and he is glad the taxpayers’ portion of the buyout was limited to half a million dollars.

Mayor Nutter said he was not directly involved in the negotiations to buy out Ackerman’s contract (see related story), but he supports the decision and is glad this got done before the school year begins, in just two weeks.

Nutter is also pleased that only $500,000 of the $905,000 buyout is public money (see related story).  Given Ackerman’s contract, he says, it could have been worse.

“When you look at what the number could have been on the public side, versus what was owed, it’s a number that is a settlement, and I’m glad we’ve moved on,” Nutter said today.

The mayor added that he did make a few phone calls on behalf of the private fundraising effort.  He refused to lay out why he felt Ackerman should have been removed, saying that he instead wants to focus on the accomplishments during her tenure, and on the coming school year.

Reported by KYW City Hall bureau chief Mike Dunn