A unique form of double dipping by 'retired' IL school superintendents

Ed Lasky
While this story focuses on Illinois, I can assure you the problem is common in other states. School superintendents retire and start collecting big pensions and then become superintendents in another state and start collecting a big salary there (on top of their previous pensions). From the Chicago Tribune, the story of the school superintendents working the system to make hundreds of thousands of dollars every year. Remember this the next time teachers' union and their political lackeys moan for more tax dollars or our kids will suffer:
Hank Bangser collects a $261,681 state pension after retiring as superintendent of New Trier Township High School District. Now, he's a full-time superintendent in Southern California, earning $170,000 at a job he'd be barred from in Illinois if he wanted to keep getting retirement checks.

His annual pension-salary combo: $431,681.

In tony Scottsdale, Ariz., retired Wheaton Superintendent Gary Catalani is back in administration too, earning $195,000 as school superintendent on top of his $237,195 Illinois pension. His total: $432,195.

A Tribune investigation has found that crossing state lines is one of the most lucrative ways for retired superintendents to collect multiple government checks without breaking pension rules, according to salary and pension data. Across the border, the retirees are free to work as full-time public school superintendents and collect Illinois pensions.


The Tribune provides multiple examples of such behavior on the part of those who pose as caring about our children.

The Tribune again:

Jeremy Gold, a pension expert and New York-based consulting actuary, called earning multiple government incomes "indicative of sloppy governance and a cavalier attitude by those 'public servants' who exploit these loopholes selfishly."

"Illinois is a poster child for pension abuses," Gold said. "One of my colleagues calls this child abuse because our children must pay for our fiscal irresponsibility."

Illinois is on the brink of fiscal failure; it is a basket case (remember, these are the same people who promoted Barack Obama's career; he comes from this muck). The problem is exacerbated by Illinois having too many school districts-and thus too many superintendents, assistant superintendents, etc. Experts have been suggesting for years that districts be consolidated to save money. There is no rhyme or reason behind the drawing of the districts and the salaries are often not commensurate with the demands. Some districts are small yet pay their superintendents quite well. Others are larger and pay less (though still generous some might argue). These are the salaries that determine pension levels. The salaries themselves are often spiked at the end of the tenure so the pensions-based on final years' salaries-are adjusted upwards.

Who is responsible? The political leaders who approve these agreements and the teachers' unions who work the system. The unions slice off a portion of their members' dues and send it flying to politicians who reward them come contract time. Also, teachers often have a lot of spare time - summer, holidays, and the like. They have time to man phone banks and hand out flyers - and appear at rallies.

Who suffers? The taxpayers and the children.


While this story focuses on Illinois, I can assure you the problem is common in other states. School superintendents retire and start collecting big pensions and then become superintendents in another state and start collecting a big salary there (on top of their previous pensions). From the Chicago Tribune, the story of the school superintendents working the system to make hundreds of thousands of dollars every year. Remember this the next time teachers' union and their political lackeys moan for more tax dollars or our kids will suffer:

Hank Bangser collects a $261,681 state pension after retiring as superintendent of New Trier Township High School District. Now, he's a full-time superintendent in Southern California, earning $170,000 at a job he'd be barred from in Illinois if he wanted to keep getting retirement checks.

His annual pension-salary combo: $431,681.

In tony Scottsdale, Ariz., retired Wheaton Superintendent Gary Catalani is back in administration too, earning $195,000 as school superintendent on top of his $237,195 Illinois pension. His total: $432,195.

A Tribune investigation has found that crossing state lines is one of the most lucrative ways for retired superintendents to collect multiple government checks without breaking pension rules, according to salary and pension data. Across the border, the retirees are free to work as full-time public school superintendents and collect Illinois pensions.


The Tribune provides multiple examples of such behavior on the part of those who pose as caring about our children.

The Tribune again:

Jeremy Gold, a pension expert and New York-based consulting actuary, called earning multiple government incomes "indicative of sloppy governance and a cavalier attitude by those 'public servants' who exploit these loopholes selfishly."

"Illinois is a poster child for pension abuses," Gold said. "One of my colleagues calls this child abuse because our children must pay for our fiscal irresponsibility."

Illinois is on the brink of fiscal failure; it is a basket case (remember, these are the same people who promoted Barack Obama's career; he comes from this muck). The problem is exacerbated by Illinois having too many school districts-and thus too many superintendents, assistant superintendents, etc. Experts have been suggesting for years that districts be consolidated to save money. There is no rhyme or reason behind the drawing of the districts and the salaries are often not commensurate with the demands. Some districts are small yet pay their superintendents quite well. Others are larger and pay less (though still generous some might argue). These are the salaries that determine pension levels. The salaries themselves are often spiked at the end of the tenure so the pensions-based on final years' salaries-are adjusted upwards.

Who is responsible? The political leaders who approve these agreements and the teachers' unions who work the system. The unions slice off a portion of their members' dues and send it flying to politicians who reward them come contract time. Also, teachers often have a lot of spare time - summer, holidays, and the like. They have time to man phone banks and hand out flyers - and appear at rallies.

Who suffers? The taxpayers and the children.