Sixteen Philadelphia public school teachers are poised to earn a total of $1.5 million in compensation this school year, despite the fact that none of them actually teach.
Pennsylvania Watchdog, one of several watchdog websites operated by the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, reported:
As part of the contract with the School District of Philadelphia, the local teachers union is permitted to take up to 63 teachers out of the classroom to work full-time for the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers.
The practice, known as “release time” or “official time,” allows public school teachers to leave the classroom and continue to earn a public salary, benefits, pension and seniority.
This year the local teachers union chose to pull 16 educators out of the classroom to help it pursue its crony political agenda.
“Teachers should be paid to teach,” argued Kara Sweigart, assistant general counsel for the Fairness Center. “At a time when school districts are hurting financially, districts should be devoting every tax dollar to support students, not to pay the salaries of employees of a private political organization.”
According to the Cato Institute, this habit of paying people to not do their jobs transcends both Philadelphia and even the teaching field, in that “release time” subsidies are being issued all across the country for union police officers, firefighters and bureaucrats.
Taxpayers spent a total of $157 million in 2012 paying federal employees to do union work rather than their… http://t.co/zV0CuHuWDF
— Stop Taxing Us (@StopTaxingUs) October 8, 2014
The federal government wasted a whopping $157 million in 2012 alone to pay employees to perform union work. Does this make sense to you? It surely does not to me.
Incidentally, Philadelphia is currently dealing with an education budget deficit that will inevitably wind up hurting minorities students more than anybody else.
— Pharoah Cranston (@EDUCATIONPRIMER) March 6, 2016
Like Cato Institute policy analyst Jason Bedrick wrote, “Taxpayer dollars allocated for education should be spent on items and activities that assist student learning, not to promote the interests of private organizations.”
Unions of course disagree, and that’s why I personally loathe them!