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Ex-school chief defends unemployment application

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December 8, 2011 08:47 AM EST | AP


PHILADELPHIA — The ousted former head of Philadelphia's public schools says she's only taking what's rightfully hers by applying for unemployment benefits after receiving a $900,000 contract buyout.

Arlene Ackerman tells WCAU-TV she received about $400,000 after taxes and lawyer fees as part of the severance package settled on in August.

The former superintendent is eligible for the state maximum of $573 a week, based on her former salary of about $350,000.

Ackerman's leadership saw increased test scores and graduation rates but also clashes with community members, the teachers' union and elected officials.

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