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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Top 100 Millionaire Teachers and Administrators in St. Louis County

Kirkwood School District has the highest paid superintendent in the state but is number 2 when it comes to the amount of pensions paid out in the state according to this St. Louis Today article quoting information from Taxpayers United of America:

At least 100 former or current St. Louis County school district leaders will make more than $4.3 million after retirement in taxpayer-supported pensions, and another 100 workers for the State of Missouri will make more than $2.3 million over their lifetimes in pension earnings, according to lists released here today by an anti-pension advocacy group.

The Taxpayers United of America, in the middle of its Midwest tour, stopped in St. Louis this afternoon for a press conference before heading on to Jefferson City, Springfield, and Kansas City this week, then California, Virginia and Kentucky later this year.

Taxpayers United Vice-President Christina Tobin and Director of Outreach Rae Ann McNeilly said the lists expose "the top government salaries and pensions" for public school and state workers.

"St. Louis County public school teachers and Missouri government employees are pulling in huge salaries and will have lavish, gold-plated pensions when they retire," Tobin said in a prepared statement. "Meanwhile, Missouri taxpayers are suffering through the worst economic climate since the Great Depression."

Just how large are some of these pensions?

The Parkway School District topped the educators list, with 15 employees - mostly or all administrators - making the top 100, at an estimated annual cost of $1.7 million, or $73 million over the lifetimes of the workers.

Kirkwood schools came in next, with 13 employees on the list at a cost of $1.5 million per year, or $63 million over their lifetimes.

In total, the top-100 educators averaged about $115,000 each annually.

The study's top overall payout went to Parkway's former superintendent, Robert Malito, who is collecting an estimated $175,448 in retirement, or about $7.5 million over his lifetime.

Wow. Can you believe this? Look at this list of teachers and administrators and be prepared to be amazed at the amount of tax payer dollars that are being spent for pensions that a private industry worker cannot even believe to expect through his/her 401K. Wouldn't most privately employed retirees be eager to retire at $175,000 a year in his/her retirement?

The next time your school district comes to you for a tax increase and tells you it's "all for the children", take along this list and determine how much some of your district employees are being paid out over their lifetimes. No wonder public education costs so much these days.

For a detailed report on how teacher pensions are fast becoming a trillion dollar taxpayer liability, read the Forbes article "The Teacher Pension Nightmare".


  1. Do you understand how these pensions ate funded? I'm thinking not. First if all, usually the funding is 50% from the employee and 50% from the employer and these contributions are made while the employee is still working. When the employee is retired, he/she is allowed to access the pension fund. So current retirees made their contributions over a spam of 30 years (that's the average in MO) while still employed by a public school district. So giving the impression, as you do in this piece, that taxpayers are currently footing the bill for these pensions is just false. It's also false to create the impression that taxpayers are funding 100% of these pensions because they are not.

  2. Ok @(anonymous), Who in the private sector retires at the same amount they were making while employed? Also, superintendents get ridiculous fringe benefits on top of this pension deal. Can you name anyone who gets $500 and up monthly stipends for just driving their car. What about the premium health coverage that school districts offer their employees? It's over the top, premium gold, compared to private sector coverages. And I also have to question, how much private companies contribute to 401k's compared to private contributions. Bet it's not 50%. No one in the private sector get automatic raises each year. Read your superintendent's contract. Bet it also has yearly percentage increases written into the contract. Most do. Sorry Anonymous. I don't want to, as a tax payer, fund this kind of sweetheart deal.

  3. So, who's fault is this? It would seem to me to be the fault of the voters who vote in school boards who then negotiate these contracts. Not sure if this is correct, but the conservatives have gotten lots of grief over the years for getting involved in school board races and trying to put in people who want to stop the mad spending of these schools. Furthermore, even in the most conservative of school districts, (Parkway, Rockwood) when they ask them for a tax increase or bond issue and it is opposed, those who oppose these are demonized by the press, the parents, the unions and anyone else who refuses to see the writing on the wall. School boards are so important, yet, no one even bothers to vote, or the unions back the most liberal and they get in there.

  4. Regarding those people who are receiving their pensions from Public School Retirement System aka (PSRS):
    1. it is A PRIVATE ENTITY! It is not owned by the State of Missouri. The money that is in it the mutual funds of the teachers!!
    2. The teacher/administrator CONTRIBUTES 7.5% of their paycheck to the fund each pay period!
    3. The school District matches that amount!!
    4. The PSRS is well known in the managed fund community to be one of, if not best managed funds in the US.

    1. Actually it's 14.5%. That is from the teacher and 14.5 from the district so 29% total every paycheck. The non-teacher employees pay in 7.25 by law and the district pays in 7.25. How many people in the private sector have that taken from their check every payday BY LAW. Not too many of you who complain, I'm sure. Trust me, I am working 70-80 hours a week just to pay my bills so I wouldn't say that any of us are overpaid.

  5. Question:

    Anonymous 1 and GRHutch: Who is the employer? Wouldn't it be the school district? Isn't the school district supported by taxpayer money? When the pension amounts are raised, wouldn't the amount the school district (aka the taxpayers) have to contribute more to the fund?

    If a school district has highly paid administrators and teachers, the tax liability of the taxpayers would be high. Private companies bear the burden of 401K plans themselves. The school district bears ITS burden of pension plan on the back of taxpayers. Automatic raises mean higher taxes, right?

  6. Anonymous: They retire at a rate of pay that is established by the policy of the fund. Remember that employee contributes and the district contributes and it is a professionally well managed fund. If the UAW and Chrysler pension funds,as well as many others were prudently operated and funded they too could have this. They are not. So the successful retirement fund is a teacher's fund.

  7. Anonymous. But the taxpayers are supplying half of the pensions! If the salaries go up, the taxes go up! It's like charter schools. They are privately managed, BUT ARE FUNDED BY THE TAXPAYERS. Like charter schools, public school teacher funds COULD NOT EXIST without taxpayer money. Who benefits monetarily from the taxpayer money input? The charter school owners and the teachers and administrators.

    Go back to the comments from Anonymous #2. What private company contributes to a pension fund as generously as taxpayers do to teacher funds? How many private jobs have guaranteed salaries and raises as teachers receive FROM THE TAXPAYING PUBLIC? Please answer those questions.

  8. Lots of private companies match employee pension contributions. This is not at all uncommon. They are called 50/50 plans. Both of my parents retired with a 50/50 pension from private industry careers. You are also forgetting that these contributions are made over the length of a career, which, as the first comment said, averages 30 years for a teacher in MO. Do the math and then do your homework. Your claims are ridiculous.

    It is also completely false to claim that teachers in MO are overpaid or retire with extravagant pensions. Currently, MO ranks 47th out of 50 states in teacher pay. That means teachers in 46 states earn more than they do in MO. The average teacher salary is $40K in MO. If you think that is a decent salary for a professional with a masters degree, you aren't playing with a full deck.

    Teachers in MO also do NOT DRAW SOCIAL SECURITY. So their pension, which averages less than 40% of their salary when they retire is their ONLY INCOME for the rest of their life. Do the math - this means that the average teacher in MO retires with a pension that amounts to $16K a year. That is called poverty level, hardly extravagant.

    This is one of the most dishonest blog items I have ever read. A few top level admins receiving good pensions (half of which which they funded themselves) is hardly a scandal worth getting your panties in a knot over. Good grief.

    As for who benefits from the taxpayer money - THE CHILDREN DO. They get an education. How much is that worth to you? Obviously not much in MO. You should be ashamed that this state pays its teachers so little rather than posting false information about pensions.

  9. There have certainly been some spirited discussions on this matter and are long overdue.

    I would suggest if readers have an issue with the pension information published by Taxpayers United, they contact that organization and ask how their figures are incorrect.

    Most of these high salaries are for administrators, but not all. I believe the average taxpayer looks at this and thinks the monthly pensions received by school district employees are extremely high compared to private industry.

    It is a discussion that needs to occur in these economic times. Taxpayers are tapped out and the resources to sustain these high salaries (which mean higher taxes) are quickly diminishing.

  10. I have been reading this with a great deal of interest. It seems that the same worn out venomous accusation, "you don't care about the children," is being raised yet again. I would like to say here that it is the children who are losing and people who are questioning care deeply about what is happening to them. Our education system has been substandard for decades and every "fix" has just made it worse, Goals 2000, No Child Left Behind and now RTTT/Common Core Standards etc, etc, ad nauseum.

    Who is at fault? The teachers? The Kids? The Parents?

    I am firmly convinced that the problem is the government officials, administrators and bureaucracies that have risen around and consumed education. The Children, teachers and taxpayers are the losers. The fact that these administrators are retiring with pensions like this, at taxpayer expense, is an outrage considering the condition of the education system they were overseeing. Every taxpayer and parent should be outraged.

    The teachers (after parents) are the most important factor in education and they have their hands tied by all of the testing, lousy curriculum and standards they are forced to serve, leaving no time to teach and foster the desire to learn in the students they work with everyday. There are bad teachers, of course, but the big problem goes back to bureaucracies, administrators and government officials far removed from the classroom and the children who are being left behind by a failed system, bloated with taxpayer money!

  11. What a shame! I am a teacher with 12 years of experience, a doctorate in education, and a nationally certified. My base salary in Florida last year was 44k! Give me a break! Teachers pay taxes just like the doctor you go to, the lawyer you hire to represent you, or the factory worker that bottles your soda pop. Teachers have degrees, higher education, and most go into the profession because they have a passion for teaching our future generation. Certainly no educator goes into because they think they will be rich and live a life of luxury. It is the hardest job I have ever had and I challenge you to try it for a couple of weeks.
    As for the pension... I have been contributing to my retirement fund since I was 21. I am now 42,and believe me based on what I have saved and the 5% of my annual salary my school contributed annually, I wont retire a millionaire. Teachers have been faced with salary freezes for a few years now. You say what other profession gets an annual raise each year? Uh... lots of professions when they get their annual reviews. If you stop and think about it, your tax money is paying to educate our country's future. Your tax money pays government officials, government based agencies, public law, indigent care... you don't think those people aren't getting raises and retirement plans. Stop picking on education. I am a teacher. I pay taxes and therefore paying my own salary.


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