PHILADELPHIA — Mayor Jim Kenney today announced that Chief Education Officer Otis Hackney will leave City government at the end of October.

Appointed Chief Education Officer in December 2015, Hackney led the Mayor’s Office of Education and oversaw two major education initiatives during Mayor Kenney’s first term: the launch of the City-funded, quality pre-K program PHLpreK and the creation of Community Schools in partnership with the School District of Philadelphia. Hackney also facilitated the Administration’s successful effort to return Philadelphia’s public schools to local control under a Mayor-appointed Board of Education. 

“Otis’ commitment to expanding educational opportunity shines in everything he has accomplished since the beginning of this Administration,” said Mayor Kenney. “Our vision for Philadelphia’s future starts with education today, and as Chief Education Officer Otis stepped up to the challenge of realizing our ambitious education platform. 

“Under Otis’ leadership the City successfully expanded free, quality pre-K, established community schools in neighborhoods across the city, and expanded college and internet access for Philadelphia students – all while helping return school governance to local control, establishing the Board of Education, supporting the alignment of City programs serving children and youth, and strengthening the collaboration between City government and our education partners. Our City’s future is brighter because of Otis’ dedication to serving students, schools, and families. I thank him for his years of service and wish him the best in his next leadership role.” 

During Mayor Kenney’s second term, Hackney spearheaded the Octavius Catto Scholarship, a partnership between the City and Community College of Philadelphia which provides last-dollar tuition and basic needs support to eligible students. At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and in partnership with the Office of Innovation and Technology, Comcast and the School District, Hackney oversaw the successful launch of PHLConnectED, which provides free internet access to students’ households. Most recently, Hackney advised the Board of Education throughout the process of searching for and hiring a new superintendent for the School District of Philadelphia.

“It has been an honor to serve as Philadelphia’s Chief Education Officer and work alongside City and District leadership to support the success and well-being of our students,” said Hackney. “I am proud of the progress we have made to align our efforts and resources in support of schools, expand opportunity for students of all ages, and set a foundation for further success.” 

Following Hackney’s departure, the Office of Children and Families will oversee the City’s education policy priorities, further aligning the City’s partnership with the School District on planning, coordinated services, and educational programs.