Philly’s new schools chief to start earlier than expected

Posted: September 08, 2012

William R. Hite Jr. will assume full-time duties as Philadelphia's superintendent of schools two weeks earlier than expected.

The Prince George's County (Md.) Board of Education on Thursday approved Hite's request to be released from his contract early, the Washington Post reported Friday.

The 59-year-old educator confirmed in a text message to The Inquirer that Friday was his last day in Maryland.

Hite, who had been dividing his time between the districts since the middle of July, will switch to full-time status in the city the week of Sept. 17. Because of Rosh Hashanah holiday, his first official day will be Sept. 19.

After the School Reform Commission named Hite to oversee the city's public school system in July, he resigned from the job in Prince George's County. Hite agreed to remain until Sept. 30 to ease a transition for that district.

The Maryland board has named an interim superintendent.

The former teacher and principal will be paid $300,000 to oversee Philadelphia's district of about 146,000 students.

Hite's contract in Maryland required him to give 120 days' notice to receive a severance payment of $125,000. He relinquished the money to take the Philadelphia job.

Contact Martha Woodall at 215-854-2789 or

Inquirer staff writer Kristen A. Graham contributed to this article.

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