Saturday, March 16, 2024

STRS Associates' Salaries as of 02/29/2024

From John Curry

March 16, 2024 
Currently suspended STRS Executive Director [Bill Neville] has a salary listed on Page 3 of $318,270.
Currently "Acting Executive Director Lynn Hoover has a salary listed at exactly $400,000 on Page 3! 
I recall NO board action that recently moved her salary to $400,000. This can't LEGALLY be accomplished in Executive Session. Apparently it was!

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Private Equity Vultures Took Ohio Teachers’ Retirement. Without More Accountability, Your Savings Could Be Next.

From The Scioto Post

March 12, 2024 
By Jeremy Newman - 03/12/2024 
This year, an estimated  four million Americans will reach retirement age. After decades of work and careful saving for their golden years, retirees rightly expect to live comfortably off of their hard-earned savings. That is what many former Ohio educators and school staff expected when they retired. Unfortunately, private equity firms ransacked their pension and left teachers without the cost-of-living adjustments they desperately needed. Without more transparency and accountability for bad actors in private equity, your retirement savings could be at risk. 
The State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio (STRS) pension plan serves as the primary vehicle for Ohio educators’ retirement savings. More than 500,000 Ohio teachers, administrators, and other school staff pay into the fund throughout their careers with the expectation that they will be able to live comfortably off of their earned benefits later in life. However, beneficiaries suddenly stopped receiving cost-of-living adjustments in 2017, and like any good teacher, they started asking tough questions.
An analysis of the fund by the Ohio Retired Teachers Association discovered the fund was paying high management fees to private equity managers entrusted with their investments, and that “billions have been squandered” on fees and poor performance. Sadly, this story is all too common. Other public servants have also suffered the same fate at the hands of bad actors in private equity.
The Maine public employee pension lost nearly $22 million of retirees’ savings as a result of a bad investment with a California-based private equity firm called Paine Schwartz Partners, which allegedly misrepresented the performance of its largest holding, a large peach farm that the firm drove  into bankruptcy. 
Read the rest of the story here

From  Vouchers Hurt Ohio

March 12, 2024

Good Tuesday morning,

No surprise.

The $1 billion boondoggle, known as the private school voucher program, is a refund and a rebate bonanza for families, including a lot of wealthy families, and the biggest winners are the private school operators.

Recently, WOSU took a look at what is happening in the Columbus area and their reporting mirrors what is taking place all across Ohio.

The reporter took a deep dive into the Olentangy Local School District in Delaware County and found that in the 2022-23 school year, 30 students living in the district received vouchers for private schools.

In the 2023-24 school year, that number increased by 2,277 percent to 713 students.

Here’s the kicker: the district’s enrollment grew by 500 students, according to the report.

Now Olentangy is currently trying to pass a levy to operate the schools and to build five school buildings needed to handle the projected growth of this amazing community.

Olentangy consistently rates among the best school districts in the state with a very low operating cost per pupil.

This is just one of the nasty consequences of the state using our tax dollars to put hundreds of millions of dollars into the coffers of private school operators.

The Ohio Constitution could not be any clearer: The state shall create a single system of common schools for all school children for the common good.

Vouchers create a separate and unequal system of schools for the well-to-do.

Please read and listen to the report from WOSU here.

The reporter also looked at Dublin schools where the increase in voucher students was 500 compared to last year, and in Upper Arlington where voucher numbers grew from 11 to 260.

Remember in days of yore when the private school voucher system was sold to the public, like snake oil, based on the idea that students from families with lesser means would have a choice of going to a private school.

What a bunch of bunk.

Is your district part of the lawsuit? Check here. If not, why not? The stakes could not be higher.

Want to know how to join? Click here.


Vouchers Hurt Ohio

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