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Pensions, money and taxes

Pensions, money and taxes. Do these subjects interest you? If so, keep reading. All information presented is fact-based, gathered from reputable Pennsylvania school-based sites beginning in January 2019.

In 2011-12, teacher salaries at Central Greene School District were $8,285,500. Our pension obligation to Harrisburg that year was 8.65% or $716,695. This current school year, 2018-19, teacher salaries are $8,011,875. Our pension obligation has risen to a whopping 33.43% for 2018-19, with our check to Harrisburg now amounting to $2,678,369. This does not include Act 93 employees, which is our administration.

Tell me what business or corporation can afford to raise their pensions expense by 286.47% in seven years? That’s easy to answer: no one!

Instead of Central Greene using this $1,961,674 increase toward a school addition, teachers, support staff, books or computers, it is going to Harrisburg to take care of the political promises that have been made over the years.

As of January 2019, Pennsylvania’s 123,147 teachers “average salary” is $67,535. Take the pension obligation of 33.43% multiplied by $67, 535 (average salary), which amounts to an actual total of $22,577 per teacher. Now, multiply $22,577 times 123,147 teachers to bring pension obligations across the Commonwealth to $2,780,283,661! This is BILLIONS! (This does not include Act 93 administrators.)

Pennsylvania has the most politicians (253), highest gas tax (58.7 cents) per gallon and the second highest legislative salaries ($88,610) in the United States. Recently, one of our elected politicians, Sen. Robert Mellow from Lackawanna County was awarded a $246,000 yearly pension.

Property owners, businesses, and corporations are paying the taxes for the pensions, per diems, and perks for these politicians. And they wonder why our schools are struggling.

Central Greene is being drained, thanks to our elected officials, who are choking, crippling and crucifying our public school system. One can only imagine how many nearby school districts are dealing with this same dilemma.

John. R. Bristor

Central Greene School District Board Member