Head of the state commission which oversees the School District of Philadelphia abruptly resigned this morning, state officials said.
Pedro Ramos, who acted as chairman of the School Ref0rm Commission since 2011, said family issues forced his resignation, according to Gov. Tom Corbett's office.
In a statement, Corbett said Ramos resigned " to attend to recent, unexpected news within his family."
“I appreciate Pedro’s hard work and dedication to guide the Philadelphia School District during these difficult times,’’ Corbett said. “Pedro’s well-deserved reputation and record in Philadelphia’s educational community gave him the credibility and insight to bring about change and positive reforms on behalf of the students of Philadelphia.
Ramos, 48, is credited will helping to untangle the school district's financial messes and hiring current Superintendent William Hite. While the district continues to struggle, many feel the SRC under Ramos' watch has moved the district forward.
Hite called Ramos a "stalwart supporter of the School District and our students, and he will be missed."
"He brought critical institutional knowledge as a former student, the parent of two public school graduates, the former President of the School Board of Philadelphia, a civic leader, and a business leader," Hite added. "This unique combination of experiences and perspectives will be difficult to replace. I have often said that Pedro was one of the reasons I came to Philadelphia. He and his colleagues on the commission display remarkable passion for and dedication to our work at the School District."
A decision to replace Ramos is forthcoming, according to the state. Corbett will appoint Ramos' replacement.
Ramos' term on the five-member board is set to expire in 2014.
Mayor Michael Nutter called Ramos in a statement a "Strong, visionary leader."
"Time after time, Pedro did not flinch from making tough decisions on behalf of our children, such as ensuring that the Commission would not spend dollars it didn’t have and instead would engage in five-year budgeting, which provides a clear picture of the district’s fiscal position, Nutter said.