PW: Do you agree with Councilman Bill Green’s proposal to get rid of the SRC [School Reform Commission] and put in place a school board that would be appointed by yourself?
Mayor Nutter: The proposal just came out in the past week or so. I’ve not had a chance to fully review it, nor have I talked to the Councilman in depth about his idea. I appreciate that he is thinking about these issues and my focus here is to make sure we are doing everything we can to ensure young people get a high quality education. I’m working with the governing structure that we currently have. That is something that is also determined by general assembly and the governor, not by the city. I am going to stay focused on young people while holding adults accountable for whatever positions they may be in.
PW: What do you think is the biggest problem that the Philadelphia School District faces?
Mayor Nutter: That’s something that’s not exactly a one item thing. One great challenge is making sure all of our young people go to school every day. If they’re not in school, we certainly cannot teach them. We have to make sure that young people and parents understand that going to school is very important. Two, we have to make sure that schools are a safe place. Both going to, coming from and in the building. Three, to make sure that our teachers have the resources and the support they need. That they are qualified to teach in their subject areas, but also well motivated. Funding is a major issue that we always have to focus on. In the end, learning takes place in the classroom. It’s a partnership amongst the students, teachers and parents to make sure that their child is fully focused on getting the most that they can out of their education.
PW: What as mayor keeps you up at night?
Mayor Nutter: I worry about primarily the violence in our city. The young people getting a good education. Those are the things I worry about the most.
PW: Do you have any aspirations of running for governor of Pennsylvania once your second term as mayor is up?
Mayor Nutter: The only aspiration I have is to be the best possible mayor I can be during my second term. I have not given one second of thought about doing anything else.
First Person Arts Podcast: Proud Mom