Are ghost teachers about to be put to rest?
Ghost teachers in Pennsylvania would be strictly limited under legislation approved by the state House Education Committee today. HB 2125 restricts teachers unions’ ability to pluck teachers from the classroom to work full-time for the union while remaining on the public payroll.
In Allentown, taxpayers have paid more than $1.3 million to fund the salary and benefits of the Allentown Education Association (AEA) president—using money meant for educating students. That practice is being challenged in a lawsuit by local taxpayer Steven Ramos and former school board member Scott Armstrong.
Another lawsuit is pending in Philadelphia, where last year, 16 ghost teachers earned $1.5 million while working for the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers.
HB 2125 ends ghost teaching with two exceptions:
- Statewide teachers’ unions (like the American Federation of Teachers Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania State Education Association) could have three officials on leave for up to six years, and
- School district employees may be on leave for 15 total days each school year but no more than three consecutive days.
Most importantly the bill requires teachers unions to reimburse every cent associated with school employee leave. CF's James Paul explains:
Year-in and year-out, Pennsylvanians are asked to contribute more and more of their hard-earned dollars to public education. The least state government can do is ensure this funding is used in the classroom and not tapped to staff private organizations. HB 2125 strictly limits ghost teaching and is a victory for Pennsylvanians.