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Article posted: 2/24/2013 5:00 AM

School districts' raises cheat all taxpayers

I'm trying to balance my feelings of sympathy for teachers who did a good job for many years in the public school system and deserve to receive their retirement benefits with my feelings of anger over school districts like Schaumburg Township Elementary District 54 that gave their administrators exorbitant raises right before they retired, with the idea that taxpayers from outside their district would be responsible for footing the bill for these inflated pensions. Now District 54 has the gall to sue the state because after all they got their unethical contract in before the state changed the law to prohibit this outrageous practice.

District 54 officials should be ashamed of themselves, but I doubt they are. School officials just point out the fact that other school districts were doing the same thing. They were all just cheating the taxpayers of Illinois. All of which makes it difficult to be sympathetic to the stream of letters from retired teachers complaining about the possible threat to their pension benefits. Perhaps teachers should not be lumped in with fat-cat administrators that received these huge raises before they retired (22 percent three years in a row from District 54); these administrators are receiving benefits equal to that of three or four teachers. We should pay teachers the benefits that we promised them, but we should not pay the increase in benefits to administrators or teachers who benefited from this unreasonable practice. These excessive benefits are not only going to cost us as taxpayers, they are going to take benefits away from the men and women that are teaching our children today and who are going to teach our children in the future.

Scott Schmidt

Arlington Heights

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