Nor Cal Classrooms Shut Out as Tax Dollars Fund 400 Teacher Pensions over $100,000

AP Photo/The Daily Gazette, Marc Schultz
AP Photo/Marc Schultz

Over 400 former Bay Area teachers pocketed more than $100,000 in pension income in 2014.

The California Policy Center think tank along with the Nevada Policy Research Institute performed the study which compiled retirement compensation data from the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, known as CalSTRS.

The president of the center, Mark Bucher, acknowledged that most people think tax dollars allocated for education help supply classrooms with books, supplies etc; they don’t think of the money going to retired teachers.

“This isn’t how we think our education dollars are being spent,” Bucher said. “We’re told the money is going into the classrooms and, increasingly, it’s not.”

Given that California currently faces a $75 billion unfunded CalSTRS liability—an amount that never enters into the Jerry Brown alleged budget surplus–Bucher suggests it’s time to limit pensions and lower the salaries teachers receive after they retire.

CBS Sacramento reported in November that a decade of financial data posted by Controller John Chiang on his website shows that the state’s 130 public pension systems are carrying $198 billion in unfunded liability in 2013, compared with $6.3 billion of unfunded liability in 2003.

The Contra Costa Times reported that the highest earners by district were: former Livermore Valley Superintendent Brenda Miller with $237,455; former Fremont Superintendent Douglas Gephart with $212,834; Cheryl Petermann, former assistant superintendent of the Hayward district, with $187,927; former San Ramon Valley Superintendent Robert Kessler with $186,211; retired Mt. Diablo district music teacher Steven Accatino with $184,091; Cynthia LeBlanc, former interim Superintendent of the West Contra Costa district, with $171,074; retired Oakland teacher Richard Sanmames, with $170,600; and former Antioch district Superintendent Dennis Goettsch, with $145,132.



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