Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Old practice now 'retired'

Changes in Louisiana state law will no longer allow high-pay education administrators to "retire" for 24 hours, get rehired the next day and a year later cash in simultaneously with both retirement checks and full paychecks.

That practice has been going on for a long time, to the fiscal detriment of both public school systems and the Teacher Retirement System of Louisiana.

That's why House Bill 519, now signed into law by Gov. Bobby Jindal, will provide some salve to the wounded accounts. In five years, savings from the bill may reach $108 million for the retirement fund and may reach $94 million for the school systems, according to estimates. That money is precious in this economy and with the state budget in full retreat.

These changes do not prevent retirees from returning to teaching. But those who do must be prepared to forgo retirement pay while drawing their teacher salary. Teachers say there are other changes, too, that ought to be considered for the protection of teachers. For now, though, these changes mark progress.

The editorials in this column represent the opinions of The News-Star's editorial board, composed of President and Publisher David B. Petty, Executive Editor Kathy Spurlock, Managing Editor Ken Stickney and community representatives Wiley Hilburn, Whitney Martin and Roderick Worthy.

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