Bill Green Will Lead School Reform Commission

Is this a platform for mayor? Or establishing a separate legacy from his father?


Councilman Bill Green had made it plain for weeks that he wants to be the next leader of the School Reform Commission. Today, Gov. Tom Corbett is expected to formally announce Green’s appointment as SRC chair; Farah Jimenez, executive director of the People’s Emergency Center, to fill a second seat on the commission being vacated by Joseph Dworetzky.

Philadelphia Public School Notebook reports:

Green, a Democrat, has given interviews on his ideas for improving the beleaguered system while officially declining comment on whether he was lobbying for the unpaid position. Sources said he is prepared to resign from Council if he is confirmed by the Pennsylvania Senate, a process that could take months.

The Daily News’ Chris Brennan adds:

The Republican governor’s appointment of Green, an ambitious Democratic politician with an outspoken and sometimes combative style, is an intriguing development for the beleaguered School District of Philadelphia, still reeling from the $304 million budget deficit revealed last year.

In the past, Green has supported expanding charter schools, introducing vouchers, lengthening the school day and year and making it easier to fire underperforming teachers — policies that won’t sit well with the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, which for months has been at odds with Superintendent William Hite on how to reach a new contract.

Green, of course, was profiled by Philly Mag back in 2010. Speculation then was that Green—son of a former mayor—might be running for mayor himself.

It doesn’t hurt, of course, that another Bill Green—his father—was already mayor, back in the early ’80s.

But this Bill Green, Bill the IV, is getting things done: Late last year he introduced bills to overhaul dumpster regulations and to abolish the abysmal Board of Revision of Taxes. He’s also prone to wrapping his hands around large stuff, like that paperless agenda (which he claims could save the city $200 million a year), or his summer project: considering how the city might better leverage valuable assets like municipal buildings, parking lots, and park land.

But really, Bill Green’s quick rise comes mostly from what he’s willing to say.

Leading the SRC successfully will probably require more “doing” than “saying,” of course, but Green’s once-plain ambition to be mayor raises the question: Is this new job a platform for his next City Hall campaign? Or is he establishing a new legacy, separate from his father’s?