Arlene Ackerman's bid for unemployment benefits on top of her near-million-dollar buyout, revealed last week, shows there's only one way to stop her from asking for more: giving it to her before she asks.
In that spirit, here are a few more ways the taxpayers can help the jobless former schools superintendent - before she forces us to.
Job training: Retraining is an obvious option for America's legions of unemployed, not least Ackerman. Having spanned three cities in less than 15 years, her career as a big-city schools superintendent appears to be running out of large urban districts where no one will recognize her.
But that doesn't mean Ackerman has to start over completely. Given the city's surplus of substandard apartments, for instance, we could certainly use more building superintendents.
Patronage: If retraining fails, let's not forget this is Philadelphia - there must be a patronage job for a displaced education executive somewhere. Crossing guard? Deputy mayor? Safe schools advocate?
The School Reform Commission has certainly seen a lot of turnover lately, and it's said to be a great place to meet powerful state legislators who can be very helpful to one's career.
Contracts: Speaking of powerful state legislators, a profitable no-bid government contract could also help Ackerman get back on her feet, and without all that time spent, you know, working. I hear the school security camera business is particularly easy to get into - just a matter of getting your business card into the right hands.
Public housing: It turns out that ample camping space for down-on-their-luck school administrators has recently opened up on Dilworth Plaza. Mayor Nutter could surely make an exception to his recent crackdown there, especially since he strongly supported hiring Ackerman and strongly supported firing her.
Nor would the ex-superintendent have to endure the rough accommodations that characterized the recently cleared Occupy Philadelphia encampment. It's my understanding that several Bedouin-style luxury tents more befitting her stature have become available in Libya - and at very reasonable prices.
Public sculpture: If Ackerman herself doesn't want to occupy a Center City plaza, the least we can do is erect a likeness of her, à la Frank Rizzo, outside one of our public buildings - perhaps on horseback to emphasize her historical importance. This would not only help boost her morale when she feels discouraged by the job search; it would also be an impressive addition to the "Awards and Monuments" section of her resumé.
Fund-raising: If all else fails, how about an old-fashioned bake sale? Indeed, instead of selfishly squandering the proceeds on books, pencils, and other frills for themselves, Philadelphia school kids might learn something about charity from the experience of donating the money to someone less fortunate. And I know an out-of-work superintendent who matches that description perfectly.