There was an article last Wednesday in the Commercial Appeal with a sidebar headed TEACHER BENEFITS. This is a subject that I have been investigating for some time. Consider the following.
- Teachers work for 10 months, not 12. See schedule.
- See the City of Memphis City School teachers’ union contract.
- The CA article said that as a general rule the pension for a full teacher retiree equals 48% of the last year’s earnings according to Ken Foster, Memphis Education Association executive director. See the attached sheet from the latest Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System financial report. This shows that with an average salary of $50,000 and 25 years of service they receive 79.4% of average final salary and with 35 years of service they receive 95.1% of average final salary. This is a combination of their defined benefit pension plan and social security.
- The percentage of payroll that is contributed by the Memphis City School system for pensions is between 13% and 15% depending on whether it is the teachers or the other employees. This is far higher than the percentage of payroll contributed by the City of Memphis and Shelby County which is well below 10%.
We need to rein in teacher pensions and benefits, do away with tenure after only three years, reduce the bureaucracy and concentrate on quality education and bring competition to education through the introduction of parental choice.