Things that make you go “huh?”

An opinion article at the StarTribune this week outlined one of the many problems that face school districts. St Cloud School District Administrators Union voted 25-1 to reject a school board proposal to end an interesting early-retirement benefit that has local impact also. The union voted to retain the benefit that will pay for medical insurance for district administrators, principals and assistant principals who retire before they are eligible for Medicare until they are 65. That’s a pretty expensive benefit for any taxpayer-funded entity — especially for school districts struggling with unfunded mandates, unstable revenues and restrictions on raising taxes without voter approval.

To bring this closer to home, District 281’s former Superintendent Stan Mack retired last year at age 58 and took advantage of this union benefit. His severance package includes medical insurance coverage for him and his family, for which the 2008-09 premiums equal $29,220 as a portion of his extremely generous package of $215,456.00.

We also learned that Mr. Mack is actively seeking new employment,  and made it to one of the top six applicants for Superintendent of St. Paul School District. This reinforces the question we asked last summer: Did Mr. Mack retire from public service in the school district or did he quit with a platinum parachute?

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