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Philly schools: It’s the principal

Philly schools: It’s the principal

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TO PARAPHRASE a saying that I heard once, “If you can bind up the strong leader, you can plunder the whole house.”

That’s what I see happening in the Philadelphia School District, where principals are being told they must agree to drastic cuts in pay and benefits or be subject to even more Draconian measures. The contract they’ve been offered is barebones, to say the least.

Among the details

The School District has asked principals to take a 15-percent pay cut. The principals are currently year-round employees, but under the new pact, they would be forced to take what amounts to an annual two-month furlough.

The principals would also have to begin paying toward their healthcare benefits. They shouldn’t feel unfairly targeted, however.

The cuts are part of the District’s five-year strategy to reap $130 million in savings from the principals’ union and four other district unions, including the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers.

New School Reform Commission Chairman Bill Green, an appointee of Gov. Tom Corbett, has indicated his willingness to use the SRC’s powers to impose terms on unions that won’t deal.

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