Our last Friends with Benefits post was seven months ago, but the Mercury News Internal Affairs section (and blog) ran a provocative piece yesterday on school supe pensions that is noteworthy. Hillsborough made the news because
More than 400 retired educators in the Bay Area received annual pension payouts of $100,000 or more in 2014, according to the budget watchdog group Transparent California.
Three South Bay and Peninsula ex-superintendents received the highest payout among Bay Area educators. James Smith, former chief of the Evergreen Elementary District in San Jose, received $287,434; Marilyn Miller, formerly of the four-school Hillsborough district, received $280,035; and Johanna Vandermolen, retired from the Campbell Union Elementary District, received $278,003.
Interestingly, all three of the former elementary school chiefs received more than retired heads of the area’s big school districts, although in some cases only slightly. Last year, in retirement from San Jose Unified, Don Iglesias took in $239,492. He led a district more than 20 times the size of Hillsborough.
The fiscal ramifications were laid out at the end of the piece
Educators are fond of pointing out that CalSTRS is partly funded by salary deductions. But with the pension system’s future obligations outstripping revenues, the state is demanding higher contributions. Teachers will pay somewhat more, but districts’ share will balloon from under 9 percent of teacher and administrator salaries to 19.1 percent in six years. What will take the hit from that? Likely school programs and staffing.
I don't follow the H'borough school system enough to know when Ms. Miller retired, but you do need to keep in mind that it's possible the overall payout included the one-time costs of unused personal time, etc. if she just retired. If the report of the districts' shares more than doubling over the next six years is accurate, that is a balloon payment no one will want to make.