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Former Philadelphia schools superintendent Arlene Ackerman, who left her post with a controversial buyout worth nearly $1 million from the district, had her unemployment claim denied by the state of Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
Ackerman, who would have collected $573 weekly in unemployment benefits, told the newspaper this week that the state had denied her claim in January. "Though encouraged to do so, I decided not to appeal the decision," Ackerman wrote in an e-mail to Inquirer reporter Kristen A. Graham. "I am moving on and Philadelphia is a closed chapter in my life. I pray for the children of Philadelphia ... that is all that I can do now."
The newspaper reported in September that, after an initial plan to raise more than $400,000 from private donations to contribute to Ackerman's buyout, the school district was forced to pay the entire sum. The agreement, and Ackerman's subsequent decision to seek unemployment, came under fire from Mayor Michael Nutter and other education advocates. The district decided to negotiated a buyout after Ackerman's controversial three-year term, according to the Inquirer, which saw the city's schools grappling with ever-increasing budget shortfalls.
The district is still searching for $60 million in cuts after laying off hundreds of workers and cutting millions elsewhere, according to the newspaper.
Ackerman now lives in Albuquerque, the Inquirer reports, where is she is CEO of an education consulting firm.