Friday, December 21, 2007

Double-dipping on pensions

The Mercury in Pottstown takes a shot at school officials double-dipping on taxpayer-paid pensions in today's editorial page. This is a serious problem and is a prime example of why school spending is out of control. Pennsylvania doesn't need 501 school districts, doesn't need 501 superintendents earning six-figure salaries and certainly doesn't need these superintendents abusing the system by collecting pensions at the same time they're collecting paychecks from beleaguered taxpayers. Here's the editorial 'thorn' from today's paper:

THORNS for a system of government pensions that allows highly-paid school officials to collect a salary and a pension at the same time, all at taxpayer expense. Critics say the practice is an abuse of a state law that is supposed to be used only to fill vacancies in emergency situations. Supporters of the 2004 law, including the Pennsylvania School Boards Association and the state’s Public School Employees’ Retirement System, say allowing retired school employees to continue working for as long as a year after their retirement helps schools fill unexpected vacancies or difficult-to-fill jobs. But state Rep. Karen Beyer, a former school board member who serves on the House Education Committee, said this week that the practice often amounts to “double-dipping” and she plans to introduce legislation to stop such abuses. In the private sector, employees get just one paycheck for the work they do. Seeing tax dollars go to pay two salaries to a school official is a tough pill to swallow.

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