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Governor Taps Khan Academy to Reeducate Taxpayers

theodp (442580) writes | about 2 years ago

Education 0

theodp (442580) writes "Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has launched a website and gone social on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to educate taxpayers on why they must make good on pension promises to state workers. And, in addition to Squeezy the Pension Python, Gov. Quinn is enlisting the help of Khan Aademy, the tax-exempt organization funded by tax-free millions from Google, Bill Gates, and others, to help convince taxpayers that a state-pension-promise-is-a-promise. In a new Khan Academy video, Illinois Pension Obligations, Sal Khan concedes that the annual annuity payouts for IL state employee retirees do look 'pretty reasonable' — e.g., $43,591 for the average teacher, $117,558 for a judge — but goes on to argue that 'in all fairness, this was promised to these people,' who he speculates 'probably took lower compensation while they were working,' 'probably stayed in the jobs longer,' and 'probably sacrificed other things' to get these 'great benefits.' But, as the press reports, tain't always so, like the Illinois school superintendent who, thanks to 'pension spiking', pocketed $1+ million in pension pay since his 'retirement' at age 57 five years ago, while also drawing a regular paycheck as superintendent of schools in California to supplement his $261,681-a-year Illinois pension. Or the two union lobbyists who substitute taught for one day to qualify for hefty pensions — over 100K, in one case. Or the employees of private organizations, including the Special Olympics, who will collect pensions through the State Universities Retirement System (six figures, in one case) because Ill. State Univ. labels them university employees. Or the Univ. of Ill. VP for business and finance, who will draw $312,000 in pension money in 2012 (to supplement a salary of $240k a year from the Univ. of Ill. Foundation), thanks to a move that got his payout computed using a more lucrative formula intended for lower-paid police officers and firefighters, putting an extra $365,000 in his pocket over the past decade. Or the pension obligations for the $620,000-a-year Univ. of Ill. President and his $195,000-a-year assistant, who were pushed from office after only two years on the job. Now these — and other tales like them — would make for a great Khan Academy Illinois Pension Obligations II video, Governor!"

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