Quote of the Day

RiShawn Biddle, editor of the education blog Dropout Nation and the co-author of A Byte At the Apple: Rethinking Education Data for the Post NCLB Era, discusses the changing dynamics between the public and leaders of NJEA as the state budget collapses under the weight of hefty entitlements:
New Jersey taxpayers know all too well about the high cost of the array of generous defined-benefit pensions, employer-subsidized healthcare plans, job protections and degree- and seniority-based pay scales struck by states, districts and locals of the National Education Association and American Federation of Teachers. The Garden State's Teachers' Pension and Annuity Fund offers annual payouts that can be equal to as much as 72.7 percent of average annual compensation, even as taxpayers wrangle with how to pay down $43 billion in pension deficits and unfunded retiree healthcare benefits (as of the 2006-2007 fiscal year). This is partly why the average retired teacher in New Jersey collected $34,643.48 in the 2007-2008 fiscal year (the last year available), 59-percent more than their public-sector counterparts elsewhere.