To the Editor:
I too share Nancy Hardwick’s concerns in her letter to the editor regarding teachers’ pensions, but my concerns rather are over the misuse of the system by high-paying administrators.
The reported teacher retirement abuses are almost all from administrators who made high salaries and negotiated high retirement incentives from their local school boards. Many of them then continue to pick up fill-in jobs in their own district or other districts.
These administrators’ salaries and retirement benefits are like the CEOs of many companies. They do not reflect the average workers’ salaries or retirements, but if they were averaged in with their employees’ packages, the amounts would seem outrageously high and not really reflect the workers amounts.
After teaching for 35 years, I do not have a pension that is even half of the ones reported by Mr. Schaumburg. Teachers are required to continually update credentials with classes and further degrees. Doing this in most other fields would have led to much higher salaries than the average teacher makes. Teachers stay in the field because they love what they do and feel they make a difference.
Teachers’ agreement with the state is that we accept these lower than comparable professional salaries, pay into our retirement system and then are guaranteed a livable pension when we retire. Yes, the system needs an overhaul, but not at the expense of the majority of retired teachers. Caps need to be put in place on how high of a salary will receive benefits.