Of this total, 3,090 retired educators in California receive more than $100,000 a year.
The Capistrano Unified School District (CUSD) is but one example of the dysfunction. The district is nearing complete insolvency thanks to the teachers' unions. 85% of CUSD’s budget already goes to salaries, pensions and benefits; but that's apparently not enough for the unions.
Total Expenditures per year, 2009-2010, $381,716,882
Certificated Employees, 2009-2010 - $193,507,709
Classified Employees, 2009-2010 - $57,262,822
Employee Benefits, 2009-2010 - $72,388,03
Total Salaries, pensions and benefits - $323,158,586
Meanwhile, the teachers' union (CUEA) has not yet negotiated a new contract, which means the old contract remains in force. Thus, the union has not agreed to a single cut in salaries, pensions, or benefits and even have projected salary increases.
The cuts that are being proposed instead target the kids and parents.
$1.66 million: Eliminate funding for all extra-curricular activities, and all stipends for department chairs
$1.30 million: Eliminate funding for all sports programs
$1.20 million: Capture savings from lower-than-anticipated costs for employee health insurance
$1.20 million: Eliminate 25-to-1 pupil-teacher ratio in the first grade
$1.00 million: Eliminate elementary school block music
$1.00 million: Remove money from fund for facilities maintenance, leaving only $2.6 million over next four years
$0.70 million: Close two small elementary schools
$0.50 million: Delay purchasing new textbooks per the standard textbook adoption cycle
$0.25 million: Eliminate all summer school in grades K-8
$0.21 million: Reorganize the district's business services department
$0.14 million: Eliminate the college-level International Baccalaureate program in high schools
$0.10 million: Eliminate resident substitutes at high schools, use district list instead
The recent history of the district is enlightening. Union officials have fought school choice, sensible compensation models and other necessary reforms tooth-and-nail. And the tale of a former CUSD superintendent provides a glimpse into the failures of the system.
Convicted and sent to jail? Not to worry: you'll still get to keep your pension
Retired Capistrano Unified School District Superintendent James A. Fleming could face jail if convicted on a felony indictment over the use of school resources to track his political enemies. But conviction won't stop Fleming from receiving his pension funds: $141,000 a year from California and $64,000 from his 27-year stint in Florida.
While overseeing the school district, Fleming and other board members were accused of violating open meeting laws, retaliation against political opponents and creating "enemies" lists, which contained the names of his critics, their children and even the schools they were attending.
Prior to his retirement in 2006, Fleming's total compensation was more than $348,000 a year. After moving to California from Florida, the district agreed to add five years to the 15 he'd worked. In addition, the district agreed to cover Fleming's medical expenses in retirement though he hadn't worked the requisite 20 years.
Even if he is convicted on all of the 2007 charges, both his pensions will remain in force.
California State Teachers' Retirement System: Double- and Triple-Dipping
Rudy Castruita is a typical double-dipper: he's currently the Professor of Clinical Education at the University of Southern California. But, having served as the San Diego County Superintendent of Schools for 12 years, his pension payments are also a quarter of a million dollars a year. The fact that he's gainfully employed as a professor appears not to affect his extremely rich defined-benefit pension.
Karen Colby, former superintendent of the Ocean View School District, received a "golden parachute" pension of $134,515 a year despite issues raised concerning her performance. Likewise, retired Orange County superintendent Thomas Godley pulls in over $210,000 a year despite an extremely troubling career. He served as a budget chief for a school district when a finance worker stole $3.7 million.
Retired school superintendent Theresa Daem receives $235,000 a year, though she ran a small, four-school district with less than 4,000 students. Cameron McCune, the retired superintendent of the Fullerton School District, lives in Palm Springs pulling down a cool $244,000 a year.
Chaos and Misery Await Californians Thanks to the Unions
In the Capistrano district, teachers earn an average of around $82,000 a year in salary, which does not include extra assignments or benefits. Because of the state's immense problems, the CUSD budget shortfall has risen to $34 million since the first of the year.
Despite all of these issues, the teachers' union hasn't formally offered a single real concession to the district.
It's time that California officially banned the public-sector unions. The choice is clear: complete insolvency and disaster -- or survival. Right now, the unions represent a cinder-block tied to the state's feet as it tries to stay afloat.
Linked by: The Washington Examiner and Pension Tsunami. Thanks!