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District hires Fran Burns as new chief operating officer

By David Limm on May 29, 2013 11:43 AM

The School District has a new chief operating officer: Fran Burns, the executive director of the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority (PICA), the state board that oversees the city of Philadelphia's finances.

Burns will earn $175,000 annually in her new position at the District. She will report to Deputy Superintendent Paul Kihn, who has also been handling the role of chief of operations, a District spokesperson said. The position was advertised, and several candidates were interviewed.

Superintendent William Hite said he is "thrilled by the skill sets she's bringing to the table."

Burns' departure from PICA is effective June 28. Her start date at the District is still being negotiated.

"While we are disappointed to lose Fran's knowledge of City government, experience, professionalism and energy, we wish her every success in her new role," said Sam Katz, PICA's board chair, in an emailed statement. "Fran indicated that her background in municipal government operations made the opportunity to move to the School District too enticing to pass up. The District is acquiring the services of a very skilled and dedicated public servant to take on many important operational and management challenges at a very critical time."


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Comments (23)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 29, 2013 1:11 pm
Really? 175k while they are trying to take money away from teachers!!!!!!
Submitted by Jenny Davis (not verified) on December 21, 2013 9:19 am
I couldn' t agree more... it is totally crazy!!!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 29, 2013 2:10 pm
This district seems to be managed by a lot of highly compensated "chiefs" but who's doing the ground level work?
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 29, 2013 2:20 pm
This salary is unreal. They're preaching a message of sacrifice, austerity and potential doom, trying to raise additional revenue, and they have to pay $175,000 to hire someone that was making $125,000 last April?
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 29, 2013 2:29 pm
Insulting too. So much for cutting the fat at 440. Saw Lori Shorr's salary - "Lori Shorr, Mayor’s Chief Education Advisor, $142,500." She is a strong advocate for slashing everyone else's salary - which is less than half of her salary.
Submitted by Cat (not verified) on May 29, 2013 4:53 pm
So what are you going to do about it? Will you be at the PFT rally tomorrow?
Submitted by Education Grad ... on May 30, 2013 10:43 pm
And this is all the more reason why PFT members should say no to any attempts to reduce salaries....
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 29, 2013 2:54 pm
Wow. I guess we need more overpaid weight than people that actually work in the trenches.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 29, 2013 2:20 pm
Too many chiefs.
Submitted by start charging for public schooling (not verified) on May 29, 2013 6:46 pm
too many chiefs and no indians at all,omg is nutter for real are you kidding me.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 29, 2013 7:33 pm
So, Paul Khin gets support while others get the shaft. I don't know how these people can sleep at night.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 30, 2013 3:56 am
If she is so great then why has she gone from L & I to PICA to the SDP within about a year? They had to find her a slot for $175K with taxpayer dollars. But it is afterall for the children.
Submitted by JUDITH ROBINSON (not verified) on May 30, 2013 7:38 am
This is the kind of nonsense that lets you know these folks are not really trying to make correction!!! Why was this position even opened ?!! Why ?
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 30, 2013 10:00 am
Amazing how experience and seniority count at 440. Why didn't they hire someone fresh from Teach for America?
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 30, 2013 10:38 am
great comment. I try to remember that what's going on is something structural across the country, essentially a class war, using austerity to make the majority pay for the crimes of the 1%, together with a good deal of racism. So there's no real point in focusing at the personal level on the individual quislings, like Ramos and Hite. And in the larger picture, a 175K salary for this is small potatoes compared to the larger context of what's happening. But still, when I see something like this, the blatant hypocrisy is really enough to make one's head explode. How dare anybody at 440 rake in that kind of money when they're planning to cut all art and music and everything else from my daughter's school? I don't know how these people sleep at night. Let me guess, this kind of salary is what the "market" demands, while unions "distort" the market value of urban teachers, which should rightly be next to nothing.
Submitted by Jim (not verified) on May 30, 2013 9:44 am
I wonder how the SRC will vote tonight. I think they'll admit that the state has not supported the School District. They'll also admit that it's not teachers' faults that there's a budget deficit. They'll admit that they're corrupt and do not care about the children; then they'll apologize. They'll voluntarily disband because they've done nothing but destroy the District. The school district will become a real district, led by a Board, again. Then Jerry Jordan will show up and apologize for being weak. He'll step down from his position and allow someone with guts to lead the union. Mayor Nutter will confess his internalized racism and obvious elitism. Many PFT members will show up for the protest and teachers will get their hard earned raises. Many parents will show up and admit they've not taken responsibility for their own children. They will make plans to work with their children to complete homework, reinforce skills, and turn off the television. It's going to be wonderful and rational.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 30, 2013 12:15 pm
It's really great the the District Administration is hiring more administrators to help with the operations of the District. 440 has great work to accomplish and need the staff to accomplish it. Conversely, they understand that the schools they oversee have little work to accomplish so they, understandably, cut administrative staff from them (counselors, secretaries, VPs, etc...). Excuse me while I go bash my head against a wall. Anyone remember the pay raises Hite asked for and received for 25 administrators at 440 when he arrived? His rationale: they're doing the extra work of others who were laid off. Well, that rationale makes sense to me. However, this HYPOCRITE is asking to CUT the salaries of the teaching staff while asking them to do the extra work of others who are laid off. And work longer hours. And remove supplies and resources. And reduce benefits. And increase their class sizes. And eliminate tenure. And eliminate step-salaries. He does this and says he values, is a champion of, and respects teachers. 440 N. Broad cost the District 45 million to purchase. They've made upgrades. Sell it and we have 50 more million to pour into the schools that need it. The Inquirer building has a great many bidders and 440 is connected with it. It would sell, quickly. Pick one of the schools slated for closure and move the central staff in there. Practice what you preach.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 30, 2013 7:25 pm
I was at the rally today at 440. What I found to be just as disturbing as all these horrific budget cuts, were the cars parked in the lot of 440. There were many fancy cars in the lot (BMW's, Lexus, Mercedes, etc). The administration keeps telling teachers they make too much money, and it's fine for students to be in oversized classes without music, counselors, etc. We can tell children are not what is important to administration because they're too busy lining their pockets with money. I don't see the SRC, corporations or the administration fighting for our children. They don't have time because they're just worried about how much money they can make and take.
Submitted by anon (not verified) on May 30, 2013 7:36 pm
About how many were at the rally?
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 30, 2013 8:52 pm
They have to get rid of Hite, Kihn and Stanski. They are basically the three stooges. They are all worthless and Hite brought the other two in from Maryland. They are a waste of our tax dollars. The SDP will not be better off from them being hear. Trust me.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 30, 2013 9:20 pm
Kihn wraps verbiage around his lies. His statements to the SRC are not believable. He is Hite's hatch man. How can the SRC agree to give Universal Company another SDP school while still NOT paying the full cost of the schools they were given in previous years? (Audenreid, Vare, ETC.) Ramos pompous words are just that - pure pomp / hot air. The SRC / Hite / Khin and the Phila. Partnership want to destroy the School District. Next year Khin will have another dog and pony show to justify turning more schools to charters while continuing to close District schools. As a parent of 3 Philly District school students, I am frightened. Ms. Duffy was correct and brave! She spoke truth to power - Ramos couldn't handle it so he shut off her mike.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on June 1, 2013 5:14 pm
Does anyone know the salary of the PFT officers?
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on June 12, 2013 3:20 pm
This is travesty. It shows you, you could me a complete moron in Philadelphia and if your connected politically you too could earn $175,000.00 per year. Shame on you !

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