Dozens of School Employees Double Dip

BY BUDDY NEVINS

They retired from the Broward schools, but didn’t really retire.

At least 35 employees who recently retired were immediately rehired.  This allowed them to get their taxpayer-paid pension and a salary the ultimate double dipping.

And this is the school system that is about to lay off hundreds and is always begging for more money?

Did anyone ever consider saving jobs by allowing those threatened with a layoff to take some of these positions?

Nope. Give your buddies extra pay rather than save the jobs of strangers is the order of the day at the Broward school system.

The retireees rehired include such high-paid folks as two area directors and several principals.

They include Bob Crawford, the principal of Atlantic Technical Center in Coconut Creek.  He took a planned retirement 30 days ago and now will be going back to the same job.

The School Board approved his rehiring Tuesday after Chief Attorney Ed Marko said they had no choice.

Apparently in the bizarre world of the school system, once the supertendant recommends hiring an applicant, the Board can not turn it down without “just cause.”

Member Phyliss Hope said:  “We are in a depression.  The school system is losing $100 million.  That is just cause.”

Other members disagreed.  She was the only vote against rehiring Crawford.

Board member Maureen Dinnen argued that people like Crawford should be rehired because they had experience and connections built up over a lifetime career.

Using her reasoning, no experienced employee would ever lose their jobs or be replaced. This is more foolishness from this member who has obviously outlived her usefulness on the Board. 

Dinnen argued that the double dipping is not an issue because “there is no additional money from us.  The (retirement) money comes from the state.”  

Maureen apparently forgot that it all comes from taxpayers!

Board member Bob Park also defended Crawford’s rehiring.  Atlantic Tech is in Park’s district and he worked behind the scenes to get Crawford rehired.

Parks said Crawford “brings value to the school system.

I sure hope he does bring value since taxpayers are paying him two piles of money!  

Parks excusing double dipping is another disgusting example of how out-of-touch he is. 

Hope made the most sense.  She said it was unfair to keep rehiring veteran retirees because it wastes tax money and prevents the infusion of needed new blood into the system.

“We must make room for new ideas, Hope said

She’s right!   

Kevin Tynan also said he wanted to discuss bringing new leadership to the district in the future.  But this conservative Republican voted for Crawford’s rehiring.

It’s almost criminal malfeasance that administrators took no steps to plan for Crawford’s successor although they knew about his pending retirement for five years.

School Superintendent Jim Notter admitted this amazing lack of planning on Tuesday.

School Board member Stephanie Kraft asked Notter if there was any planning for a new principal to take over Atlantic Technical Center in Coconut Creek.

“Very limited, said Notter.

Member Robin Bartleman demanded that in the future, “succession planning should be done when any employee is going to retire.

Duh!

What are we paying all those administrators for at the school system? 

The most basic step to take when you know someone is going to retire is to plan for their replacement. Apparently this planning isn’t done at the school system. 

Why plan?  It is so much easier to just rehire the recently retired so they can double dip into the taxpayers’ pockets.



18 Responses to “Dozens of School Employees Double Dip”

  1. New Teacher's Parent says:

    i do not know Phyllis Hope but that is what I keep saying. You must have new blood in the system for it to continue to grow.Young teachers bring new ideas and attitude to the classroom. They do all of this at a lower cost to the system.

  2. Floridan says:

    It seems to me the only real immediate issue here is a reduction in upward mobility within the teaching/school administation ranks.

    Broward County Schools is not out any money, nor are the taxpayers. If Crawford was not hired, he would get his retirement pay and someone else would be getting the principal’s salary.

    I haven’t seen any allegations that Crawford did not do a good job as ATC’s principal (I have no knowledge, or opinion, one way or the other on that). If he is the best person for the job, then why not keep him?

    I don’t care about Crawford, but I do object to specious arguments.

    FROM BUDDY: The upward mobility issue is a big one and upsets many in the system.

    Why not promote one of those being laid off into the job?

    I don’t care about Crawford, either. This kind of misuse of the public’s money has to end.

    Retirement is suppose to be a reward for a job done when you leave the system. It is not suppose to be a bonus to be received while you still work in your same job. Its a misuse of its purpose and is particularly eregious when employees are being laid off and most of the taxpayers are not covered by a pension.

    How do we know Crawford or any of these others are the best persons for the job? Did they really consider anyone else?

    This smacks of inside dealing. What a surprise at the Broward school system!

    People retire, but get their old jobs back, pocketing DROP money and a pension.

  3. Complicated Issue says:

    Bringing retired people back as consultants is justified when they have special skills you can’t get elsewhere, or when they are needed for a short time after their retirement, or it saves a lot of money to keep them on in some way. It should be sparingly done and always by contract. Bringing a retiree back as an employee? That raises a lot of questions.

    The superintendent should explain why a school principal was so indispensible as to keep an assistant principal from replacing him. If the retirement was known in advance and they didn’t plan for a replacement, that’s on management. Is this a sweetheart deal? That is the question they need to be probing.

  4. pot calling the kettle? says:

    Buddy, in the interest of fair and accurate blogging and transparency, didn’t your wife want to be rehired after she completed DROP and wasn’t she upset when she wasn’t? And isn’t she currently employed as a teacher in a charter school? Thus double dipping since charter schools are funded with public dollars and she is also getting a pension? Hmmm?

    FROM BUDDY:

    My wife has nothing to do with any of this. I never consult her about my ideas or posts. I never did when I wrote a daily newspaper column for years.

    I would prefer she didn’t work. I get lonely at home alone and have to sit here writing to you.

  5. Concerned citizen says:

    I believe there needs to be a process to hire back retired principals or other school district employees. There are other principals or teachers that would like to be hired back, but unless they are on the Superintendent’s good list, you do not get the opportunity. I think Bob Crawford did a good job, however, I don’t believe he is the only one that could direct ATC. What was used to determine he was still necessary? Where is the rubric or criteria to show he had skills that no one else had? It is totally up to whether or not you are a friend of the Superintendent. Is that enough criteria? I don’t think so.

  6. Notter's Dogs says:

    Crawford and Notter go way back. There is nothing fair about Notter’s little family being rehired and everybody else is thrown to the wolves.

  7. nottinamazesme says:

    Being a good friend of the superintendent or one of the board members is all you need to get a high-paying job at the school board. Always has been. Always will be, as long as we keep voting the same type of people into office. There are thousands of highly qualified and knowledgeable teachers with supervisory licenses in Broward that will never walk in the shoes of an administrator because they aren’t owed favors, because they got something on them, i.e. a juicy piece of inside knowledge that shouldn’t be revealed, or because they are unknown. Period. Forget the theory that Broward needs new blood; that’s BS. Jobs don’t get offered to people who don’t make the cut no matter how good they are because that’s how Broward operates. How do you think those hired to work in the north, central or south offices, at the schools, or at the crystal palace got their jobs? Did you think they were the very best pick of those who applied for the vacancies posted in Broward? Did you think it was the best match? If you do, you need a reality check! These people were hired, even if they were totally and completely unqualified, simply due to one of the three reasons I mentioned above. Furthermore, the fix was in even months before the job vacancy was posted. It’s the oldest trick in the book! That’s it. That’s reality. That’s Broward.

  8. SimpleMan says:

    The key to getting rehired is to guard secrets. The Vo-Tech programs should get a serious investigation.

  9. Molly says:

    All positions should be competitive and not handed to anybody, whether they are retired or still in the system

  10. Concerned Brward Parent says:

    The BTU and the “leader” Pat Sanitorium is NOT always good for the school system. The contract rewards only BROWARD COUNTY tenured and longevity as teachers in the sytem regardless of the teachers qualifications or experience. This adversely punishes the one or two newer schools. The articles 25 & 26 basically have penalized West Broward High School. Last year, they (WBHS) lost at least TWO key/critical educators, the Athletic Director (Now in Orlando) and the renowned certified AP ART history teacher (who now teaches basic art at Nova). They were able to retain other key teachers, but may NOT be able to this year unless a letter/ article of understanding is drawn up between the BTU and the school board not to insitute this article for just this year. What happened in West Broward, because they are the NEWEST High School in Broward recruited some educators, who had the best qualifications, from private schools in Broward County and other counties.

    This article 26 basically say’s that IF there are layoffs (RIF) and teachers must be recalled, those teachers with longevity and years IN the BROWARD SCHOOL SYSTEM must be given these recalled jobs first, even if they do not have the experience for the subject or athletic team or knowledge of the schools short history and culture.

    Last year in a growing and just developing first year, West Broward “lost” great, quzlified teachers and coaches to “other schools and had to replace them with surplused, less qualified, just because of this union clause. This ruins the momentum of a growing campus culture. Frankly, this damages the students and somebody should take action against these kinds of unfair practices.

    I am all for protecting teachers rights and tenure, but NOT at the “cost” of ruining a devloping and building of this second year school. Again, this year this school, West Broward High, could get the very short end of this BTU stick and be “set back” once again. This is just not fair or just, even for those recalled teachers as they will surely be looked at as job robbers. In these tough economic times to penalize a school, not once, but most likely two times in two years.

    In addition, why does the union have like 7,000 members when the District has 17,000 +/- teachers? who is the “majority” anyway? BTU, do the right thing and do not execute Article 26.

  11. Skool Bored says:

    This group never changes – they always have an excuse. They are cutting the arts and scholastics but keep their empire in place. Buddy, you should ask your readership for budget cutting ideas – which is what the elected offcials should be doing.

  12. School Gored says:

    Wrong name – Skool Bored. It is really “School Gored”. This Board is gutting our schools. By the time they finish disemboweling- our we will go from 49th to LAST in the nation.

  13. Eddie Marko says:

    Hmph Hmph Hmph. I can’t get a word that makes sense out of my mouth most of the time.
    Molly, I totally concur with your comment.

  14. Concerned Broward Parent says:

    The fact is dirty politics, cronism, and the “old boys/girls” network is alive and well in regards to Education in Broward County. No where else in this great State can we find such a bunch of finger pointing politicians.

    Pat Santeramo refuses to budge in the guise of protecting the both qualified and some very UN qualified teachers. New blood… as Pat and his thugs protect the “old blood” teachers who should have taken DROP years ago.

    The School Board, now strapped like they have never been strapped for money, plays the safe route. Bartleman states the obvious all the time…nothing new ever comes out of her mouth or should we say those politicians who she is talking for? The others, Dinnen, Parks, Tynan, Williams, Gottlieb and even newcomer Ann Murray all are just covering there proverbial “donkeys” all the time. These are politicians who never stick thier foot in it because theyjust aviod telling it how it is. For her guts alone, Phyliss Hope at least try’s to make sense of it all. OK she is not the lawyer or career politician and you know what? Maybe that is exactly who we need in there! She (Hope) is going to be challenged by another politicain type Lauri (I live in Weston and you need me..cough, gag) Levenson (Nan Rich’s daughter) who will certainly have her Westonites and big money.. just remeber voters, she also has the same ole tired political baggage as the rest of these posers.

    People you have one thing that has power in politics and only one thing…your vote…use it wisely.

    PS, any NEW Blood out there? anyone???

  15. Joel Smith says:

    Adding to the conversation: I believe that the more important question is what is the educational philosophy of the district? What is the ‘line in the sand’ that we feel must not be crossed in order to provide our children with a comprehensive, well-rounded educational experience. I do not see evidence of that thinking. Once that line has been drawn, than an appropriate business plan can be developed that respects and protects that line. There are several directions that can be taken to address the fiscal crisis. Unfortunately, in many cases they are politically unpopular. That does not make them any less correct. (1) Florida school districts are coounty districts. They are not individual municipality districts. The clear choice would be to – in the least interruptive manner possible, balence school populations by moving childrenn from more crowded to less crowded schools. The reality is that means moving children from west to east. Although it is the absolute correct thing to do, it would cost votes. By not undretaking this action, the School Board and District Leadership is clearly acknowledging that this is not a county school system and is demonstrating a complete willingness to accept a sysrtem based on inequality. In actuality creating a segregated system (allowing for the impact of school choice). (2) By their own estimate, moving the High Schools to a statdard rotattor schedule would save aopproximately $25 million dollars – they refuse to take this nmove because it will upset some constituents. Shall I continue (there are some other fiscally responsible ideas that should be on the table? The bottom line is IF IT ISN’T RIGHT FOR MY CHILD IT SHOULD NOT BE RIGHT FOR ANY CHILD.

  16. S only says:

    The district could raise $(and KEEP it here in Broward) by raising the local taxes. They could save $ by deleting much of the central administration, which is a waste of $. The “main idea” is in the schools and nowhere else.

  17. BigMac says:

    Buddy, could you please publish the names of ALL the double dippers? And Retread/Rehires from SBBC?

  18. Beth The Bounty Hunter says:

    Joel Smith you are a truly intelligent person and one that should have been rehired, but who would listen to you from all the deadbeats we have sitting on the Board. I love and agree with School Gored, we have been gored, the facilities department was and is a joke, new schools that were built and then found out to have safety issues with mold and mildew,don’t change the plans, they just kept building them and then spending millions on redoing things in brand new schools.
    Phyllis Hope, I am going to contact you and offer to help work on your campaign New Blood and New Ideas is what the SB needs. And not GREED!!!! How can the double dippers sleep with a clear conscience when people with young families are going to go without.

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