We have an opportunity to derive some good out of this sorry viral episode. In short – school systems have not had to spend money on some operations since their closures.

The monies normally spent on fuel and other mileage-related expenses should still be unspent. Similarly, the schools should have had reduced utility costs owing to their closure to students.

History indicates that the unspent funds will never be sent back to taxpayers. That money can be redirected to another area of interest: funding teacher pensions.

A significant one-time transfer can be made to support those pensions before the money disappears. I assume that both state and local officials will have to be sufficiently motivated to ensure this can be done.

If we don't insist that it be done now, it will not happen.

This is one of the few times that the rightness of this policy should be supported by all of us, regardless of party or region.

Jerry Shaw

Morgantown

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(4) comments

Econobot

I have watched jobs that I was qualified for, but never called on, go from about 15 per hour to 16 to 17 to 18 to 19. They go up about 7% per year. A few years ago the bus driver thing was 15, now it's at 16... They get raises like clockwork across the board.

victoria

I like the idea. I'm not sure how much the schools have had to spend on ensuring kids can have access to education from home. Some schools purchased ipad/notebooks for students to make sure they would have equipment; which only works if the home has internet.

Regarding pensions. I appreciate the Teachers' pension not being fully funded and I applaud the efforts of their union to keep this on the fore front. However, the KERS system for the regular Kentucky government workers is in worse shape than the teachers' retirement. And no one mentions this. Who is advocating for the Food Stamp Workers? The DCBS Social Workers? The Fish and Wildlife folks? Employees of the State Parks? The custodians who clean all the buildings? These folks make a lot less and probably have fewer resources and rely completely on their retirement. Who is standing up for them? The regular employees of the Commonwealth don't have a union, PAC, or any other voice and their retirement issues remain unnoticed.

Enough Already

This idea has merit but don't expect it to happen. Beshear is expecting congress to bail out Kentucky debt and the public school system has already realized they have a windfall if they can hang onto it. They likely want to award themselves salary increases...

Econobot

The school systems get salary increases every year. As a college educated white male who couldn't find a non-temp-rotating-schedule job to save his butt in this town, I know, because I have been tracking the 1500 or so rotating job vacancies in the region for half a decade now. Every year, every summer, every job at the school system pays more than the last. They post them on them. You can see it on the bus-driver's wanted signs they put out. The Average teacher teacher salary was over 49.5 base last year. That number, average, is from the Kentucky economic data where it tells you what the average salary is in each school.

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