Ghost Teachers Update

In past issues, we’ve detailed lawsuits in Reading and Allentown School Districts filed by clients of the Fairness Center. In both districts, teachers were leaving the classroom to work for the union full time while continuing to collect a teacher’s salary (and seniority and pension credits) funded by district taxpayers.

Now, in both districts, the unions must reimburse the school for the salaries of the teachers working on their behalf. The Fairness Center stated:

“Our clients are pleased that these lawsuits forced the unions to reimburse taxpayers for their ghost teachers going forward, but the fight is not over. … Our clients are asking the court to return every dollar inappropriately provided to the unions to the classroom where they belong.

Moreover, the practice of ghost teaching, even if reimbursed, still violates the constitutional prohibition against providing public resources to a private organization without a public purpose. Our clients are petitioning the court to end ghost teaching completely.”

Editorial boards in Pittsburgh and Reading both praised these outcomes, noting taxpayers should not be forced to sacrifice a teacher’s salary to advance the work of a private organization.