Oregonian hammers Dems for choosing PERS over kids

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by NW Spotlight

With PERS Lite, Beaverton would be asking voters to be Democrats’ official ATM

The Oregonian Editorial Board wrote a scathing oped yesterday on how Oregon House Democrats are getting ready to make things even tougher for the Beaverton School District – which had to eliminate more than 300 teaching positions this year due to budget problems.

By settling for “PERS Lite“, House Democrats are not only leaving Beaverton with staggering pension costs, but they are also putting the upcoming Beaverton school levy at risk. How likely are Beaverton voters to support the levy if they know it’s really going to pay for PERS?

As the Oregonian Editorial Board noted on the Beaverton levy back in February “But if lawmakers punt on pensions, leave rate hikes untouched and let Oregon taxpayers hold the bag, that same levy proposal would — and should — leave voters feeling like the Democrats’ official ATM.”

UPDATE (4/24): Despite criticism from major newspapers across Oregon, House Democrats passed “PERS Lite“, SB 822 today. 

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Posted by at 09:54 | Posted in Education, OR 77th Legislative Session, Oregon House, PERS | 683 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Bob Clark

    I think public school teacher compensation has gotten too generous in some school districts, and I am thinking particularly, Portland Public Schools. The total compensation package of the average Portland Public school teacher is now over $95k per year, and this for a job only working about 80% of a full time schedule. This number is per Portland Public Schools’ own 2012-2013 budget document, and this year includes a boost of another 5% in benefits; with benefits now 55% of base salary.
    PPS is beginning negotiations with the Teachers union over a new contract, and it is very crucial, the parties settle on just a COLA of 2% or less and finding someway to flatten the benefit trajectory. This would help with meeting PERS legacy costs for the PPS district. It might take several flat contracts like this to get Teacher compensation back down in alignment with other competitive professions and private sector (like Catholic school) compensation packages.
    As for PERS reform, it would be nice if the legislature would have adopted the more cost saving Oregon School Board Association proposal than the PERS lite reform. There is, however, a chance PERS lite might work out. It’s goofy to one’s common senses, but the Federal Reserve in the effective printing of specious monies, is actually washing away through its tonic affect on asset prices (stock market, e.g) unfunded obligations like PERS.

    • Really, know

      Stop all COLA aid now! This public sector inflationary catalyst is sucking US dry and the so deprived private sector can ill afford anymore of the incredible nonsense.

  • Granola girl

    As a parent I am so sick and tired of our schools not having enough money. A few years ago Tigard-Tualatin had to make cuts (and have every year since!) which consisted of 1/2 year P.E. and a half year music program for elementary and middle school kids. This is a crucial time in their lives to learn how to be healthy. Back in the day we had PE EVERY DAY and I can remember very few overweight kids. Look at what we have now, we as a society should be ashamed. Pers is out of control, why can’t we bankrupt it and start over, There has to be a way to do it and bring retirees pay back into line with the rest of the population. So many of those individuals are now double dipping – back on a payroll somewhere else. It all disgusts me….;

  • bartles

    The Oregonian under the leadership of Erik Lukens has gotten awesome on this issue.

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