Bill Green’s Views
January 19, 2014
‘The Philadelphia Inquirer’ – 2014-01-19 – Bob Warner Below are excerpts from City Councilman Bill Green’s interview with The Inquirer hours after Gov. Corbett named him to head the School Reform Commission.
On his plans, and working with Superintendent William R. Hite Jr.:
“I have a plan but I have to sync my plan with Dr. Hite, who I have great respect for and support. . We had dinner as this process began and had a very nice conversation. Our wives were with us and so we didn’t get too deep into policy. But certainly my positions are well-known by the people in the district.”
On whether his views match Corbett’s:
“I had very broad policy discussions related to the policy positions I’ve taken publicly that are in my papers. I think the governor and his people are basically aligned in what I want to try to accomplish.”
On state funding:
“I have not had a discussion with the governor or his people about funding.
He did allude today to additional funding for schools in this year’s budget that he’ll propose, but the exact dollar amount of that is a tightly held secret until Feb. 4,” when Corbett delivers his budget address. “Most of the things that I think can make a real difference . to close the achievement gap between Philadelphia and the suburbs require a lot of changes in the way business is done, not necessarily more money. . We have other additional resources that hopefully will come on from the city of Philadelphia. It would be great to get a little bit more support from Harrisburg. But we have to provide a quality public education with the resources that we have available to us.”
On the cheating scandal:
“I don’t have enough facts to have a reaction. If someone’s caught cheating they shouldn’t be in the school district.”
On running for mayor:
“This is a five-year [SRC] appointment. It’s really a five- year job. . So I have no intention of running for mayor in 2015. …”
On charter schools:
“To be frank, I think the SRC has taken away its biggest bargaining chip and only alternative with respect to the [teachers’ union]. Because if you say you’re not going to allow charter schools to expand, there’s no reason for them to come to the table with things that are meaningful. . I am a strong believer that quality educational ‘seats’ need to be provided to the schoolchildren of Philadelphia as quickly as possible. And I am indifferent as to whether or not that is a public school or a public charter school, etc.”