Bill Green Gives the Backstory of His SRC Ouster

Displaced chair showed up at this afternoon's School Reform Commission meeting ready to work.

Bill green

If he had been shaken by the events of the last 24 hours, Bill Green wasn’t showing it when he appeared late Monday afternoon at Philadelphia School District Headquarters. He was all smiles and handshakes as he entered a meeting where students were being asked to weigh in on an issue — the district’s budget woes — that adults haven’t been able to fully resolve.

There wasn’t even an awkward moment when Matthew Stanski, the district’s chief financial officer, referred to Green as “Chairman Green” during public comments. Green — for now, anyway — is no longer the chairman of the School Reform Commission. Gov. Tom Wolf announced Sunday that he was replacing Green with fellow commissioner Marjorie Neff. Green has said he will seek a court ruling challenging Wolf’s authority to do so.

He told Philly Mag that events started rolling on Saturday.

“Commissioner Neff called me Saturday and informed me of the decision to take the governor up on his offer,” Green said. “And then the governor and I spoke last evening.”

That conversation took place at 6 p.m. on Sunday. Green’s statement announcing the governor’s decision went out at 8 p.m. — an hour before the governor himself made the news public.

“The purpose was to make sure people understood how I felt about it, to be in front of the situation really,” Green said. “To be proactive instead of reactive.”

He said he didn’t know how his challenge would fit into a Pennsylvania Senate lawsuit against Wolf over his decision to rescind some 11th-hour appointments made by Gov. Tom Corbett at the end of his term. “It’s certainly thematically similar,” Green said. “Certainly, I agree with the Senate that the governor has overstepped his authority with respect to appointments and removals.”

Green has long be rumored to have an eye on the mayor’s office, but he refused to entertain speculation about what his removal at SRC might mean for his long-term future. “I still don’t know what I want to do when I grow up,” he said. “For people to think I have some long-term plan, it’s just not there.”

For now, his plan is to continue as a commissioner on the SRC and wait to see if a judge restores him to the chairmanship. “We are a really great team,” he said. “I like and enjoy working with everybody on the commission. We will continue to do our good work, and the courts will resolve the issue, and whatever they say, I’m confident we’ll all stand by it.”

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