BILL GREEN is throwing in the towel - but not because he thinks he's wrong.
Green announced yesterday he would not challenge his removal as chair of the School Reform Commission by Gov. Wolf last week, as originally planned. In a statement released by the school district, Green said he did not want to draw attention away from Superintendent William Hite's latest action plan or proposed funding increases for the district.
"Working with the SRC, the school district is now in a better position than it has been in many years to ensure equity for underserved children," he said in the statement.
But Green, an attorney and former City Councilman, made it clear he believes Wolf exceeded his authority by appointing commissioner Marjorie Neff as chair.
"I believe I am correct on the merits, but I will not risk compromising support for the district by pursuing a court action at the same time as the plan's rollout," said Green, adding that "I do not believe that a lawsuit with the governor, one that I am told would require me to sue my colleagues and/or Marjorie Neff, is in the best interests of children at this time. I gave up my seat in City Council to fight for children and the future of our city and will continue that fight with my colleagues and Dr. Hite and his team."
The law that created the SRC says a commissioner may only be removed for cause. Green argued that the role of chair is a position and, therefore, is protected under the statute. The law does, however, allow the governor to pick the chair.
The district got good news last week in Wolf's proposed budget, which included an additional $159 million for Philly schools, and Mayor Nutter's budget, which called for an extra $105 million. But those increases will be hard to come by in a Republican-controlled Legislature and a City Council whose members face re-election this year.