For Lehigh Valley schools, one tough budget season

There are 4 comments on the Jul 6, 2010, The Morning Call story titled For Lehigh Valley schools, one tough budget season. In it, The Morning Call reports that:

It was a familiar refrain for Pennsylvania school districts: Local revenues were down.

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Amy

Absecon, NJ

#1 Jul 9, 2010
Two things come to mind here, the first being at least the QCSD isn't alone. It kind of validates some of what is being said about how we are going to pay for public education and what we may have to give up. But second, this following section about pension funds blew me away.

"School districts saw Public School Employees Retirement System contributions rise 72 percent from 4.78 percent of the payroll in 2009-10 to 8.22 percent in 2010-11. Yet that jump pales when compared with the increase slated for 2012-13, pushing the district's contribution to 29.22 percent of payroll.

The state House approved a bill to roll back future PSERS contributions until they gradually rise to comprise 20 percent of the payroll in five years. Under that plan, which awaits Senate deliberation, taxpayers will still foot the bill for a decade of lowered employer contributions and a fund that relied heavily on a decimated investment portfolio, but slightly later than expected."

Really? 29.22 percent of payroll will be for pensions? This is insane. I know this is the law, but given the horrible economic world we live in (and all the people who have lost their pension or never had one) how can this even be still possible?
November Election

Quakertown, PA

#2 Jul 9, 2010
Amy wrote:
Two things come to mind here, the first being at least the QCSD isn't alone. It kind of validates some of what is being said about how we are going to pay for public education and what we may have to give up. But second, this following section about pension funds blew me away.
"School districts saw Public School Employees Retirement System contributions rise 72 percent from 4.78 percent of the payroll in 2009-10 to 8.22 percent in 2010-11. Yet that jump pales when compared with the increase slated for 2012-13, pushing the district's contribution to 29.22 percent of payroll.
The state House approved a bill to roll back future PSERS contributions until they gradually rise to comprise 20 percent of the payroll in five years. Under that plan, which awaits Senate deliberation, taxpayers will still foot the bill for a decade of lowered employer contributions and a fund that relied heavily on a decimated investment portfolio, but slightly later than expected."
Really? 29.22 percent of payroll will be for pensions? This is insane. I know this is the law, but given the horrible economic world we live in (and all the people who have lost their pension or never had one) how can this even be still possible?
Remember your local PA Representative who voted for this debacle: our very own Paul Clymer.
Amy

Absecon, NJ

#3 Jul 9, 2010
Yes I know, but it's always good to remind anyone reading here. He has to go.
Dem4U

Sellersville, PA

#4 Jul 9, 2010
Yes. All new hired teachers should be required to have IRA's or other retirement plans that are more in line with those of the majority of the people who pay their salaries.

We need to support representatives who run on platforms to change the antiquated and outlandishly elaborate PA state employee pension fund.

We need to elect representatives who will stand up to the unions that run our state and our schools.

We need to elect representatives who will speak out for the taxpayers and the students rather than pander to the unions. Longer PA mandated minimum school years would be a good start. Teachers are paid an annual salary commensurate with those in private industry but we expect much less in work product. We need change.

While at it, we need to elect school board members who will represent all the citizens of their district rather than pander to the teachers.
Early retirement "incentives" are sure back-firing. Short term savings to balance the budget but no long-term planning are coming back to bite taxpayers in the rear! Elect school board members who have at least an inkling about how to administer multi-million dollar enterprises that require rational long-term planning.

Lurching from budget to budget has resulted in a crumbling infrastructure, teachers whose pay scale is in the top 1% of all PA public school teachers, average student academic achievement, the highest tax increase in the area this year, and retirement fund payments that are outrageous (based on a % of the highest salary scale they will be the highest contributions per retiree)!

Can't wait to see the platform planks of the candidates for the 145th Dems. Will they pledge change?

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