Sunday, September 15, 2013

If Teacher Double-Dipping was so bad, why are Politicians helping teachers get around it?

We're about to enter an era of inexperienced young teachers helped along by senior contract teachers who left public schools before their time. These contract teachers will fill in as substitutes, perhaps even mentor. In some ways, we've been had. All of a sudden, the senate committee is about to allow teachers a way to avoid their own new ridiculous law:
Wisconsin Reporter: Lawmakers on Thursday unanimously passed a bill out of committee that could reduce aid to rural school districts and make it easier for retired teachers to skirt a new law aimed at reducing “double dipping,” the practice of collecting a public pension and then going back to work for the government.

Retired teachers who receive paychecks from a third-party service, or ‘rent-a-sub’ agency, instead of the school district would bypass a new state law that requires a 75-day separation window before a retiree collecting a public pension check goes back to government work.  The bill also allows two-thirds work — 880 hours per school year for teachers — before pension checks are put on hold. Because the ‘rent-a-sub’ agency writes the checks, the retired teacher is not considered to be working for the government.  
Think about it; a whole new industry created around a completely unnecessary and envious law that goes after teachers for staying in the workforce:
The double dipping law “was not a wise decision legislatively,” Tom Owens, director of Business Services at Stevens Point Area Public School District, told the Senate Education Committee. The bill would allow them to save cash by cutting clerical staff positions by offloading the service to Teachers on Call, a private company, or a similar government agency. 

The markup for Teachers on Call is 26 percent of a substitute teacher’s pay, which covers agency overhead, FICA taxes, unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation, according to testimony. The Department of Public Instruction estimates the bill could shift categorical aid from smaller, rural school districts that may not use a third-party service to larger districts like Milwaukee, Racine and Kenosha t
Teachers on Call is a great idea and an innovative way to get our veteran teachers back. Yet it also represents another step toward privatization. Teachers on Call has already contracted with Middleton.

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