Teachers are paid to teach—at least that’s what parents and taxpayers probably think. But in Allentown, a teacher’s salary and benefits are also paid to a full-time union employee—a “ghost teacher” who hasn’t taught a class in years.
The cost to state and local taxpayers since 2003 exceeds $1 million.
The Fairness Center represents Allentown taxpayers Steven Ramos, Scott Armstrong, and Public School Employees’ Retirement System member James Williams, in a suit challenging the Allentown Education Association’s (“AEA’s”) practice of using taxpayer dollars to fund the salary and benefits of AEA’s President. The AEA President receives taxpayer dollars for her position despite the fact that she works full-time for the AEA.
Since 1990, teachers’ contract between the Allentown School District (“District”) and the AEA have contained a provision entitling the AEA President to full release time from Professional duties “to conduct Association business during the work day, without loss in wages, benefits or other contractual advantages.” Since 2000, over $1.3 million of taxpayers’ dollars have gone to fund the employee of a private organization. The AEA’s current President left the classroom in 2009 to become the AEA President. While on leave doing exclusively AEA work, the District has continued to pay the President’s salary, provided her with insurance and benefits, and allowed her to accrue seniority as if she were still working in a classroom. Additionally, the President continues to accrue pension credits in PSERS as if she were a public school employee.
The Fairness Center is filing suit to expose this misuse of taxpayer dollars and hold the AEA and District accountable to the law.
Steven Ramos, Scott Armstrong, and James Williams v. Allentown Education Association, Public School Employees Retirement System, and Allentown School District